How to Treat Thyroid Cancer

Here you can get information about How to Treat Thyroid Cancer. Any cancer diagnosis is scary, but the great news is that most sorts of thyroid cancer are very treatable. If you’ve been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, your doctor will likely recommend surgery to get rid of some or all of your thyroid.

If you can’t have surgery or if your thyroid cancer spreads or returns, you’ll need additional treatments, like radiation or chemotherapy.

Table of Contents

Surgery

Most people with thyroid cancer undergo surgery to get rid of the thyroid. Which operation your doctor might recommend depends on the sort of thyroid cancer, the size of the cancer, whether the cancer has spread beyond the thyroid and therefore the results of an ultrasound exam of the whole thyroid.

Operations used to treat thyroid cancer include:

  • Removing all or most of the thyroid (thyroidectomy). An operation to get rid of the thyroid might involve removing all the thyroid tissue (total thyroidectomy) or most of the thyroid tissue (near-total thyroidectomy). The surgeon often leaves small rims of thyroid tissue round the parathyroid glands to scale back the danger of injury to the parathyroid glands, which help regulate the calcium levels in your blood.
  • Removing some thyroid (thyroid lobectomy). During a thyroid lobectomy, the surgeon removes half the thyroid. It’d be recommended if you’ve got a slow-growing thyroid cancer in one a part of the thyroid and no suspicious nodules in other areas of the thyroid.
  • Removing lymph nodes within the neck (lymph node dissection). When removing your thyroid, the surgeon can also remove nearby lymph nodes within the neck. These are often tested for signs of cancer.

Thyroid surgery carries a risk of bleeding and infection. Damage to your parathyroid glands can also occur during surgery, which may cause low calcium levels in your body.

There’s also a risk that the nerves connected to your vocal cords won’t work normally after surgery, which may cause vocal fold paralysis, hoarseness, voice changes or difficulty breathing. Treatment can improve or reverse nerve problems.

Thyroid hormone therapy

After thyroidectomy, you’ll take the hormone medication levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid, others) for all times .

This medication has two benefits: It supplies the missing hormone your thyroid would normally produce, and it suppresses the assembly of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from your pituitary. High TSH levels could conceivably stimulate any remaining cancer cells to grow.

Radioactive iodine

Radioactive iodine treatment uses large doses of a sort of iodine that’s radioactive. Radioactive iodine treatment is usually used after thyroidectomy to destroy any remaining healthy thyroid tissue, also for microscopic areas of thyroid cancer that weren’t removed during surgery. Radioactive iodine treatment can also be wont to treat thyroid cancer that recurs after treatment or that spreads to other areas of the body.

Radioactive iodine treatment comes as a capsule or liquid that you simply swallow. The radioactive iodine is taken up primarily by thyroid cells and thyroid cancer cells, so there is a low risk of harming other cells in your body.

Side effects may include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth pain
  • Eye inflammation
  • Altered sense of taste or smell
  • Fatigue

Most of the radioactive iodine leaves your body in your urine within the first few days after treatment. You will be given instructions for precautions you would like to require during that point to guard people from the radiation. As an example, you’ll be asked to temporarily avoid close contact with people, especially children and pregnant women.

External radiotherapy

If radioactive iodine treatment isn’t suitable or is ineffective, external radiotherapy could also be used after surgery to reduce the danger of thyroid cancer returning. It also can be wont to control symptoms of advanced or anaplastic thyroid carcinomas if they can’t be fully removed by surgery.

External radiotherapy usually involves treatment once each day from Monday to Friday, with an opportunity at weekends, for 4 to six weeks.

Side effects of radiotherapy can include:

  • Feeling and being sick
  • tiredness
  • pain when swallowing
  • a dry mouth

These side effects should pass within a couple of weeks of treatment finishing.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is typically given as an infusion through a vein. The chemicals travel throughout your body, killing quickly growing cells, including cancer cells.

Chemotherapy isn’t commonly used in the treatment of thyroid cancer, but it’s sometimes recommended for people with anaplastic thyroid cancer. Chemotherapy may be combined with radiation therapy.

Targeted drug therapy

Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die. Targeted drug therapy for thyroid cancer targets the signals that tell cancer cells to grow and divide. It’s typically utilized in advanced thyroid cancer.

Injecting alcohol into cancers

Alcohol ablation involves injecting small thyroid cancers with alcohol, using imaging like ultrasound to make sure precise placement of the injection. This procedure causes thyroid cancers to shrink.

Alcohol ablation could be an option if your cancer is tiny and surgery isn’t an option. It is also sometimes want to treat cancer that recurs within the lymph nodes after surgery.

Supportive (palliative) care

Palliative care is specialized medical aid that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your other doctors to supply an additional layer of support that enhances your ongoing care. Palliative care are often used while undergoing other aggressive treatments, like surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Increasingly, it’s being offered early within the course of cancer treatment.

When palliative care is used alongside all the opposite appropriate treatments, people with cancer may feel better and live longer. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specially trained professionals. Palliative care teams aim to enhance quality of life for people with cancer and their families.

How to Treat Thyroid Cancer

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