McCaffrey's son's tumor is malignant

Submitted by guthrie on March 21st, 2014 at 11:06 PM
@iowahawksnest: We are heartbroken to hear that Patricks tumor is malignant. We know he can beat cancer and RT if you have his back. #teampat


rob f

March 22nd, 2014 at 10:00 AM ^

along with at least a dozen posts that followed, some that were good but some of which were inflammatory in nature, especially several by the individual who initiated the s***storm.

Bottom line, it was disrespectful (intentionally or otherwise) to the McCaffery family during a difficult time for them.


March 21st, 2014 at 11:27 PM ^

Win or lose the battle with cancer, I wish the best for the McCaffery family and I hope they enjoy whatever amount of time they have!  Obviously I hope he is able to hold the cancer at bay, but I don't like to think of dying as losing, since we all die.  Enjoy life!

rob f

March 21st, 2014 at 11:45 PM ^

in the short-term for Patrick, but thyroid cancer is a beatable cancer in most cases.  As others above have said, my thoughts, hopes and prayers are with the young man and his family and friends as they do battle with this cancer.

Team 101

March 21st, 2014 at 11:57 PM ^

I've lost close family members to cancer and it really really sucks.  I hope this is treatable and I wish the best for the McCaffery family.  We're all Hawkeyes when it comes to this and he can call his cancer Michigan if that will help him get rid of it.  But I'd rather he call it Staee, Ohio, Indiana or Dook.


March 22nd, 2014 at 12:55 AM ^

I certainly wish McCaffery and his son the best and knowing the numbers should give people hope. 

There are four types of primary thyroid cancer, papillary, follicular, medullary and anaplastic. The survival rate for early stage (I or II) papillary, follicular and medullary is almost 100%. Even stage IV papillary and follicular cancer have a >50% prognosis. Anaplastic is a bad player and almost means certain death, but usually found in an older population. We can only hope and pray for the best.



March 22nd, 2014 at 1:09 AM ^

Good summary... Honestly when I first heard about this I thought it might be some benign type that may have been large and compressing on adjacent structures or something like that. To hear it's malignant is very sad. He's going to go through a lot in Iife even after beating this. The constant follow up exams and worries are gonna be hard for him and his family. I just hope he's young enough to not worry about it too much (which is what's so amazing about pediatric patients, they just don't know enough to worry and they're often so happy go lucky despite their condition). Good luck to them...


March 22nd, 2014 at 11:14 AM ^

Vast majority of thyroid cancer is is papilary or folicular.  Staging is influenced by age.   Even if the cancer has spread a person his age with papilary or foicular will be rated stage I or II which as you mention has almost a 100% survival rate.

I had papilary thyroid cancer in 2011 which had spread to local lymph nodes.  Even with the metastization I was staged at I or II (depending on which staging charts you look at) and the survival rate is almost 100%. 

Treatment is probably surgery to remove half or all of his thryoid and potentiall local lymph nodes to make sure it did not spread.  He will then get a does of radioactive iodine. Overall the treatment is not pleasant but not painful and nothing compared to multiple radiation sessions or chemo. 

I pray that he has papilary or folicular and that this will be a tough couple months but make a full recovery and just have to take a daily pill to replace the functioining of his thyroid (not a big deal, a lot of people take such medications  for under peforming thyroids).

Keeping the family in my prayers.


March 22nd, 2014 at 8:16 AM ^

That's terrible news but hopefully he can fight through this - thoughts and good vibes being sent in the direction of Patrick and the McCaffery family.

I know that Fran has mentioned that he isn't 100% comfortable with his son's health being in the public eye, but understands that it is rather hard to avoid given his position. All the same, if the reputation of the University Of Iowa health system means anything then he is in wonderful hands and has parents who have a long history of fundraising and bringing awareness to cancer and cancer research as well (both of Fran McCaffrey's parents died from it, I believe). So, Patrick has plenty of excellent, passionate folks around him to help him beat this.


March 22nd, 2014 at 10:51 AM ^

I can understand Coach M's reticence to have his son's illess so visible, but for all the bad things that ESPN likes to put on their front page about players, most of the players are really good kids, with brothers and sisters, and who will be a support system for that poor kid, the coach and his family.  Good luck to them.



March 22nd, 2014 at 8:21 AM ^

I hope all goes well for he and his family. Boards like this suck at times as everyone begins to think that their words and thoughts are important. Lets just ignore the idiots. 


March 22nd, 2014 at 8:21 AM ^

I hope all goes well for he and his family. Boards like this suck at times as everyone begins to think that their words and thoughts are important. Lets just ignore the idiots. 

Roy G. Biv

March 22nd, 2014 at 8:50 AM ^

As a Dad these stories are a somber reminder of what is truly important. Yer damn right I'll be pacing my living room watching the game--but I will also be damn sure to tell my kids I love them and give them a few extra hugs today.


March 22nd, 2014 at 8:59 AM ^

I just assumed he was a young adult.  For some reason this is just harder to take knowing his young age.  Hopefully they got the entire tumor.