Thyroid Cancer 101: Scare Tactics By Surgeon Who Tells Patient He had less than a year to live!
Dr.Guttler’s comments on this article. The patient should be mad at the poor treatment he received by the over-eager to operate and the endocrinologist who failed to do a biopsy.
1.Thyroid specialist gets an ultrasound, he discovered his thyroid was two to three times larger than normal.
2. He had 15 nodules on the thyroid — each a few were 2 cm in diameter.
3.“(They) said I would have had less than five years to live, because it was crushing my breathing, and … recommended surgery,” Bagwell said.
4. To recommend surgery without proper evaluation of the nodules by FNA fine needle biopsy and needed mutation markers for risk factor for cancer
4. First they did not know there was cancer present at this time.
5. Rarely a goiter is the cause of death. Choking to death is extremely rare.Telling him he had 5 years to live was a scare tactic to get him to have surgery.
6. Most patients with a goiter can be followed, treated with thyroid hormone and if symptoms occur and there is no associated cancer they can treated by alternative therapy with ethanol and radiofrequency ablation.
7. Before biopsies to rule out cancer it was poor clinical judgment to tell him he would die in 5 years and needed surgery.
8. There are accepted protocol for biopsy proven or at risk for cancer not followed when the endocrinologist passes the buck to a surgery.
9. The cancer marker thyroglobulin was not determined.
The ultrasound of the lateral neck lymph nodes were not evaluated. 30% have cancer in the nodes and need neck dissection and total thyroidectomy.
10. Not doing a biopsy, or neck ultrasound can subject the patient to multiple surgeries, instead of all in one at the first surgery.
11. Both the endocrinologist and the surgeon were responsible for this gross error in judgement.
12. At surgery cancer was in a couple of spots.
13. Surgeon mentioned I probably would have actually less than a year to live because of how bad it really was.”
14. This is a statement by the surgeon for someone with a rare form of thyroid cancer called anapestic not regular thyroid cancer.
15.It is bad form to say such things to someone who may do things to get his finances in order preparing to die!
16. Thyroid cancer is rarely a killer and when it is it it means shortened life but never one year!
17. He did not have anaplastic and received radio iodine therapy.
What did we learn? There is never emergency thyroid surgery for goiter or even cancer. Tim should have slowed the process and requested an outside second opinion.This would have resulted in a biopsy for sure, and mutation studies in needed, and if cancer was suspect, a complete lymph node lateral neck study would have been done.When all the ducks were in a row and the fear factor corrected for a one year death sentence Tim could be referred to a real thyroid surgery ( 25 thyroidectomies a year).
Tim had world class endocrinologist Mark Lupo in Sarasota Fl and the best thyroid surgeon in Tampa in Gary Clayman shown below to use instead of local talent with poor conception of what it takes to care for goiter and cancer patients. Tim survived as most thyroid cancer patients but not without a bumpy road paved with mistakes and poor judgement.
Get my opinion before you go through the anxiety and false claims of early death just to get you to the operating room. Surgeons are not your best friends, unless they are thyroid surgeons.
Call me at 310-393-8860
As Tim Bagwell — owner of Get Hooked Bait & Tackle in Ocoee — fights thyroid cancer, his friend is hosting a raffle to go toward offsetting the mounting medical expenses.
Those who know Tim Bagwell, owner of Get Hooked Bait & Tackle Shop in Ocoee, will be the first to tell you that he loves his community, and he loves to give back to it.
So when Bagwell — who also loves working with the Ocoee Police Department to host “Casting With a Cop” for local children — was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in August, it was surprising to him that he became the person people wanted to help.
In late summer, Bagwell went to his doctor for a checkup but mentioned that he also had sore throat. His doctor took a closer look, felt his thyroids and immediately knew something was wrong.
“She said, ‘That’s not a sore throat; there’s nothing wrong with your throat — you have something wrong with your thyroid,’” Bagwell said.
After seeing a thyroid specialist and getting an ultrasound, he discovered his thyroid was two to three times larger than normal, and he had 15 nodules on the thyroid — each a few inches in diameter.
“(They) said I would have had less than five years to live, because it was crushing my breathing, and … recommended surgery,” Bagwell said.
From there he was sent to a surgeon in Altamonte Springs, who performed surgery on him a few weeks later. The one-hour surgery ended up being closer to four hours because of the size of his nodules. The only thing Bagwell was upset about was that he missed Casting With a Cop because of the surgery.
“(The surgeon) didn’t know if I was going to be able to talk,” Bagwell said. “Everything was being so crushed from all of that. … When they sent the stuff in (for testing), they called me to come in and said they found cancer in a couple of spots. I wasn’t in there for the cancer, I was there to remove everything. He mentioned I probably would have actually had less than a year to live because of how bad it really was.”
Bagwell was referred to a thyroid-cancer center in Orlando and currently is taking radiation pills. His latest scan, which took place about three weeks ago, shows the cancer is still in this thyroid but has not spread. In the meantime, he and his doctors are working together to find the right balance of medication as he battles through side effects such as fatigue.
“When it boils down to five years and the surgeon said it’s worse than they thought, you (would have had) only have less than a year … I’m glad the whole process was the way it was,” he said. “Sometimes things are meant to happen. At first I was like, ‘Why did it happen to me?’ Nobody in my family’s ever had any problems. I don’t do anything but help other people. I guess I have to be in the situation to understand what cancer is like.”
And Jeff “Butch” Parsons, one of Bagwell’s closest friends and customers, has stepped up to help. Parsons is raffling off a half-day, chartered fishing trip on Lake Butler, including bait, through Butch’s Charter Service. Tickets are being sold for $5 each, and a winner will be drawn by Bagwell Nov. 1.
“I’ve been buying bait from (Tim) for over a year, and he and I work together on charter business,” Parsons said. “I’m one of his charter captains. … Consequently, because I know him and I’m in and out of there I saw he wasn’t feeling well, and we’re friends. I’m one of these kinds of people that I think when someone needs help, who better to help than friends? I’m doing it out of friendship. I’m doing this because he can sure use the help. He’s had a lot of cancer treatment, and that’s expensive.”
Bagwell said he is happy to be alive and loves putting smiles on people’s faces.
“As long as I’m breathing and if I can make somebody smile for the day, I’m happy about that,” he said.