Thyroid Cancer

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C-GGGQ
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Thyroid Cancer

#1 Post by C-GGGQ » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:07 pm

Just before starting a new job I got really sick. Turned out to be a bad case of Mono. However during all the testing (and short hospitalization) turned out I have Thyroid cancer and need that sucker removed. With the thyroid removed I will in essence have hypothyroidism (be on the same pill as that anyway, for the rest of my life) now I have told of people still flying after getting their thyroid removed so it seems to not be a permanent grounding hopefully. I guess my question is.... Technically nobody has told me my medical is invalid. Am I supposed to have reported this or should the doctor have done so? Or just shut up and keep my head down :mrgreen:
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#2 Post by 5x5 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:08 am

I guess everyone makes their own call about reporting or not. It does seem that there is an expectation that if the situation warrants much soul searching then a self-imposed grounding may be in order while getting it figured out. Of course the type of flying and the risk to others - i.e. passengers - has to be considered as well. It is unlikely a regular doctor will necessarily know what is ground-able or not but my understanding is that as a pilot you are expected to at least make sure you have told them you do have a pilot's licence. Your GP is able to make queries to TC regarding a patient's situation without divulging personal details - at least that's what my family doctor did or me. I think it's a personal choice for them as to how much they want to be involved.

Here is one place to start for more information - TC Handbook for Civil Aviation Medical Examiners
Do a search for hypothyrodism and you'll see what it says.

Good luck - medical issues and these type of decision are always difficult to deal with.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#3 Post by C-GGGQ » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:14 pm

I suppose I should specify. I did in fact ground myself called the company I was going to start my PPC with and told them I couldn't. (They kindly told me to let them know when I was good to go and they'd throw me on the next class available) my GP is also my CAME. Just not sure I actually have to call TC or what or wait till the CAME rules on my next renewal in the spring after my surgery.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#4 Post by photofly » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:23 pm

I believe you have two responsibilities. The first is 404.06(1)(a)
404.06 (1) Subject to subsection (3), no holder of a permit, licence or rating shall exercise the privileges of the permit, licence or rating if

(a) one of the following circumstances exists and could impair the holder’s ability to exercise those privileges safely:

(i) the holder suffers from an illness, injury or disability,

(ii) the holder is taking a drug, or

(iii) the holder is receiving medical treatment;
That is, don't fly if you have a condition or you're receiving medical treatment that makes you unfit to fly.

And secondly to inform your doctor and optometrist that you hold an aviation document (Aeronautics Act, 6.5(2)).

Every doctor and optometrist in Canada (not just a CAME) is required by 6.5(1) of the Aeronautics Act to report anyone with an aviation document who has a condition likely to constitute a hazard to aviation "inform a medical adviser designated by the Minister forthwith of that opinion and the reasons therefor." If they do that then TC will contact you to tell you if your medical certificate is suspended.

Other than that it's up to your CAME to approve your request for a medical renewal at the appropriate time. The CAME has the responsibility to confer with TC if in doubt.

I don't see anywhere a requirement for you to report anything to TC yourself, and I don't know what TC would do with that information if you provided it to them. You're not a doctor and you wouldn't know what to report.

The medical handbook referred to above says:
Thyroid Disorders:
Hypothyroidism is acceptable if adequately treated and stabilized.
So you are now on notice that you have a condition which until stabilized meets the test in 404.06(1)(a)(i). So you have to ground yourself. But I still don't see anything that requires you to tell the government about it. That's your doctor's job.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#5 Post by Castorero » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:31 pm

I think Photofly is on the right track, however...

Presumably you have recovered from the mono and are feeling fine ?

Assuming that you feel well and have not had your thyroid removed yet, you are not hypothyroid yet and are not taking thyroid replacement therapy.

The thyroid cancer has been and is most likely asymptomatic and you are fortunate that it was picked up incidentally.

How far off is the thyroid surgery ?

I don't see any need to disqualify you from flying until you have the surgery, if you feel well physically and mentally, and the surgery is some time off AND your thyroid function is normal.

Your GP/CAME is well qualified to make this call and to stabilize your thyroid function post surgically and get you back flying. He will likely only need to report your surgery and treatment on your next medical to TC.
Hypothyroidism is easy to treat and easy to monitor, and once stable it tends to stay that way .

The long and the short of it is that you should discuss all of this with him/her and take his advice re your options.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#6 Post by C-GGGQ » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:56 am

Yes mono is all done. I feel normal again. Surgery is two weeks away. No mention from CAME of having to be officially grounded, but I've just held off on beginning training till feb/ March when I should be recovered from it all. Operator understands, and says I'll be slotted on the next groundschool, whenever I tell them I'm up to it.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#7 Post by Castorero » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:40 am

That's good to hear.

I think you have made all the right decisions. Best to return to work with a clean bill of health after surgery and not having that hanging over you.

Good luck, it should all turn out well for you.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#8 Post by Beefitarian » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:20 pm

I self reported when I detached my retina. I'm thinking it was a bad idea but am just too honest so I will probably repeat.

I have not talked to them recently but they are stressing me out. Can't be good for my hypertension. I'm going to phone and ask maybe tomorrow.

Good luck c-GGGQ. You seem like a good guy. My mom lost her thyroid in her twenties and lived a fairly normal life on the medication.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#9 Post by Arnie Pye » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:46 pm

Wishing you a speedy recovery. May you get back into the air ASAP.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

#10 Post by C-GGGQ » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:15 am

Surgery was Monday. I'm feeling better. Look pretty brutal like they tried to take my head off. 25 staples across the front and all the way up my right ear. Nerve severed. Ear lobe will be numb forever I guess.
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