Vascular invasion simply means there is blood vessel growth into surrounding tissue. Vascular invasion can often occur before cancer spreads or can be an indication that the cancer has more potential to spread. Typically, cancer uses the lymphatic system or blood system to spread. If vascular invasion is present, doctors may treat the cancer more aggressively and/or monitor more closely.
What does this mean for papillary and/or follicular cancer? I’m sure the doctors will monitor your husband more closely (with the radioactive scans and blood tests.) That will pick up any new thyroid tissue/or cancer cell growth.
I had papillary thyroid cancer with vascular invasion in my nodule. I had a complete thyroidectomy. Then I had a strong dose of radioactive iodine-131. My whole body scan was also normal. The doctors were concerned about metastasis to my lymph nodes. Hasn’t happened yet! I get check every year, it’s been 8 years. My anxiety kicks up during my yearly testing but I think that is to be expected.
The good news is follicular and papillary carcinoma both have a good prognosis. They also typically respond well to radioactive iodine-131 treatment. I know it’s hard to stay positive but remember you or your husband are doing the best you can. It sounds like your husband is being monitor by the doctors closely which is the most important thing for thyroid cancer patients. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.