A couple years ago I had a thyroid cancer scare. It all started when I went for my yearly physical and my thyroid levels came back as borderline low. My doctor referred me to get an ultrasound on my thyroid gland. The technician who did the ultrasound didn't say anything and I thought that was the end of it. Then a few weeks later I get an appointment slip in the mail that said: "Internal Medicine," appt. time and date, and that it was for a biopsy of my thyroid...it said "thyroid nodule biopsy."
I freaked out. I thought maybe I had cancer! There must have been a miscommunication or a lack thereof, because my doctor never called me to explain anything or reassure me! I had to do the research myself. So I went online and avoided all those hypochondriac websites and I went to WebMd, mayoclinic.org, medicinenet.com, etc. I was reassured when I read that millions of people have thyroid nodules, 90-95% of thyroid nodules are benign. Of the 5-10% that are cancerous, it seemed that men are more likely to have thyroid cancer. I took a deep breath, prayed, and waited for my appointment.
When I went to the Internal Medicine clinic, the doctors did another ultrasound and said that my nodules were tiny, non-cancerous, and not big enough to do a biopsy. I was so happy! They did want me to come in every 6 months to keep an eye on them. They never changed size. Now at two years, they can see me once a year.
I joked with them that with all the new medical technology these days, patients end up getting more stressed from the results, and stress causes more medical problems. They laughed and said, yes, and because things are spotted more on tests, they are obligated to check on them for lawsuit reasons...explains why they need to see me now once a year from now on...they said eventually it could be every two years, they'll have to see.
Another cancer scare was when I was 21, a loooong time ago. It was my second time seeing a gynocologist. My pap smear came back abnormal and they needed to do a biopsy right away. I broke down and cried and cried! I was soooo scared. No internet back then. I went in for the biopsy at the hospital and was seen by a male gynocologist. He was able to put a camera in there and I saw my cervix on the monitor. He even called in another male gynocologist to take a look. It was all very uncomfortable, the procedure and the doctors being male, even though a female nurse was holding my hand the whole time. I've always requested female gynocologists since then! Anyway, I was completely fine, the biopsy came back as showing no cancer. Nowadays, they explain to you that an abnormal pap smear is usually because of a minor infection, a change in your pH down there, maybe the test was done too close to the end of one's period. They give you a second pap smear and see the results before recommending an invasive, scary biopsy! Times have changed for the better.