Thyroid Cancer

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C-GGGQ
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Thyroid Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by AirFrame » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:44 am

C-GGGQ wrote:
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.
Now's probably a good time to get that ear pierced.

Too bad the surgery wasn't in October... That scar, plus a couple of plastic bolts, could have given you a great Frankenstein's Monster costume for halloween.

Glad to hear the surgery went well... Good luck with the medication and keeping your medical. It sounds like it's not a disqualifying condition at least!
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:01 am

How is your recovery going? I'm rooting for you.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by C-GGGQ » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:34 am

Pretty good really. Still in a bit of pain right down from Chin to adams apple to collar but not unbearable more like a sprain that's a few days old. Motion is back to normal range I'd say. Blood work weekly to adjust supplements is a hassle especially as a long haul driver which just basically means no work. But I have short term (and long term of heaven forbid it comes to that) covering things for now. Being referred to Nuclear medicine to see if Radioactive iodine/ radiation/ thyroglobulin will be necessary. I was classified as intermediate as I had 9 (of like 30 removed) lymph nodes come back positive and over 6 is the cutoff. So waiting game for now, but I'm feeling pretty good overall. Started going back to the gym (as it's now -30 without windchill in Winnipeg so screw going for a nice walk) everything in time.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:22 am

Good to read.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by C-GGGQ » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:46 pm

Had my consult with nuclear medicine. I will be getting the radioactive iodine on March 1st. Need to be isolated in my house, wife in a hotel or something, for 5 days as I'm a nuclear hot spot lol. After that I get a card for crossing the border saying I am the nuke that set off the scanners, but I'll be cleared for full duty. Navajo job still waiting with a groundschool unfortunately set the week I have to be on house arrest. So early April it will have to be.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by C-GGGQ » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:56 am

Treatment is basically a non event. Just a bit of an aftertaste that lasts a few days so far. Best news is though that the super restrictive no iodine diet is over as of today. (No eggs, dairy, salt, bread, red dye. Or anything with flavour. Even salad dressing has salt so everything is just dry.) I have pizza on order, doctor's orders lol.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by C-GGGQ » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:41 pm

Medical renewed with no issues. Quarantine is over. Just waiting for ground school/ ppc
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by Ki-ll » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:33 pm

C-GGGQ wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:41 pm
Medical renewed with no issues. Quarantine is over. Just waiting for ground school/ ppc
That’s amazing news!
Enjoy being healthy again.
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Re: Thyroid Cancer

Post by C-GGGQ » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:40 pm

Yeah, it was a long 6 months, but everything has gone well, doctors are happy with my recovery, and this should be the end of it all.
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