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Cancer? Heavy smoker with mass on the thyroid
Jun 13, 2003

I am a 41 year old gay man. I found out that I was HIV positive in 1991 and had a T-cell count back then of 247. I have basically used every medicine there is: currently on Kaletra/Epivir/Zerit(3 years). I have had stomach problems throughout my life. In 1998 I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was put on Bentyl and had a nasty nasty reaction with it and Ziagen (hospital stay required!)I was then put on Belladonna to no avail. I have been back on Bentyl for several years. My GI problems grew stranger and extremely painful. My PCP refered me to a GI specialist who ordered a CT of my abdomen. No solution was found but a mass was discovered beside my thyroid; it is pressing against my trachea. A mediastinscopy is now scheduled. Everything I read about this procedure speaks "cancer". I have been a heavy smoker since 17. My T-cell count is 398 and VL is 22,000 (rising). I know you cannot provide a diagnosis, but I am wondering about odds. From what I see a Mediastinoscopy seems to be ordered when cancer is expected.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Rather than speculate on what your mass might be, I would prefer to advise you once you have a diagnosis. Knowledge (i.e. knowing exactly what you have) is power. Mediastinoscopy, a procedure by which a health provider looks at the nodes and other tissues inside the chest, is the way to go. You should indeed get a diagnosis, which is the first step on the way to treatment. Good luck.


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