Topic: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

In reading about cc, I see that thyroid problems and other autoimmune disorders may have a link to cc. There are thyroid issues in my family and my sister has Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that is specifically listed as possibly being linked.

My question is, how many of you cc patients out there also suffer from thyroid or autoimmune disorders? Or have a history of such problems in the family?

Patty

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

Hi Patty

I've wondered about this question too.  I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease about 3-4 years ago, psoriatic arthritis.  I have always somehow doubted the diagnosis, though two different rheumatologists did diagnose it!  They advised starting one of the drugs used for rheumatoid arthritis but, due to the possible severe side effects/adverse reactions, I elected not to so so.  It's presently in remission so I feel I made the best decision for me!

I'll be interested to read others input on this question.

Jean

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

Hi everyone,
I believe I posted before about my mother - she had autoimmune hepatitis, went through severe itching/hives for years before they found out what caused it - same itching that people with cc and lupus and other autoimmune diseases get. Anyway, she was on meds for 3 years and they said it was under control, when they discovered her cc. By then it was too late, too many tumors, so I'm sure the cc must have been present for a while. Diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis at the age of 60, died of cc at the age of 64.

The autoimmune connection is very strong, I believe, and I've posted on autoimmune hepatitis forums, also, to be on the lookout for cc. Doctors should be aware that they have to screen autoimmune patients thoroughly! Glad you brought up this subject, as I believe there's a direct connection between autoimmune diseases and cc. Now we just have to get the word out!

Joyce M

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

I also have hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthiritis among several other auto immune issues.  I had  questioned the doctors about any connection but they looked at me like I was nuts?  deb

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

I have no history of autoimmune disease or a thyroid problem.  Also no history of any type of gastrointestinal problems, or liver diseases.   I've often wondered what I did to cause this (too much mexican food, diet coke?).   I would love to find the answer.

- Suzanne

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

Suzanne,
   I really don't think you did anything to "cause" this. When my husband was first diagnosed they said it was because of the chemicals he was exposed to (as a lifelong farmer) and that I could really be in danger too. Since then I have seen so many patients here that are younger with no exposure to anything and no apparent reason for contracting this awful cancer other than bad luck. One radiologist told my husband that was all it was- he came up with the black ball and there was nothing that he did or could have done to change it. Who knows? Just continue to stay positive and take care of yourself. I really think a cure is just around the corner!! Best wishes, Mary

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

Disorders leading to increased risk of contracting CC which may increase the chances of developing CC:

PSC - chronic inflamation of the bile ducts
Chronic Ulcerative Colitis: chronic inflammation of the bowel
Choledochal cysts: sac-like structures forming off the bile ducts

As Mary's physician had explained:  Until now no one knows why anyone contracts bile duct cancer. On this board we have seen long distance runners (quite a few,) people with immune diseases of different types, thin people, heavy people, normal weight people, people who loved junk food, and those who ate a very "healthy" diet.  We have seen people who have dealt with a cancer of a different type only, to be diagnosed with CC, thereafter.
One physician explained to me: That although, they don't know why, there is a suspicion for some people to be more succeptabtale of developing cancer then others. 
Within the next few years, as science is focusing more on "genomics," I believe many of these questions will be answered.

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

Marion is absolutely right that most people who contract this disease did nothing to bring it on -- just pure bad luck! There are those, however, who have an underlying condition that can make their chances of contracting cc much more likely. In the case of autoimmune hepatitis, it causes scarring of the liver, and anytime there is scarring, cancer likes to move in. Same scarring occurs with PSC and regular sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases attack the liver too.

So PLEASE don't think that any of your behaviors is to blame for getting this terrible disease -- I just think doctors should be aware that there are many more conditions that may lead to cc, and should screen for it appropriately.
Joyce M

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

Joyce....I agree.  Anything leading to a possible liver involvement should be watched closely.  I had spoken to a physician once by asking him:  why aren't people routinely scanned for this cancer.  His answer:  the cost is prohibiting it.  The insurance companies balk at the expenditure.
JUST WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR!!!!!

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: thyroid and autoimmune disorders

I read in some oncology journal the other day that this disease "hopscotchs" and for most people there is no known cause.  Just our bad luck, I suppose.

I've been healthy my whole life.  This is the first time I've been sick except for the flu and the common cold.