Learn About Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Most types of thyroid cancer have a very good prognosis when diagnosed early and treated by an experienced physicianOur multidisciplinary team focuses on using their expertise to ensure all patients receive the best and most appropriate treatment possible, minimizing the risks of complications from care while optimizing the chance for a complete cure. After going through the diagnosis process, if we are concerned your nodule is cancerous, surgery is usually recommended. Some nodules remain in the indeterminate category after testing, and your physician will discuss options with you regarding this category of nodules. Hormone therapy may also be used to stop cancer cells from growing. If thyroid cancer is advanced when diagnosed, initial treatment may also include chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
SurgerySurgical options range from removing only the side of the thyroid gland that contains the nodule to removing the entire thyroid gland. U-M is one of only a few major medical centers in the United States offering minimally invasive video-assisted surgery for the treatment of thyroid disease, which may be an option in certain cases, including patients with indeterminate nodules that need to be removed.
Our surgeons will discuss the appropriate choices with you, always ensuring that your surgery is performed in the safest manner possible. We use the most advanced surgical techniques including intraoperative nerve monitoring to help preserve the quality of the patients voice and ultrasonic technology to decrease bleeding and operative time.
Radioactive Iodine and Hormone Replacement TherapyAfter surgery, many patients receive radioactive iodine treatment to get rid of any microscopic amounts of remaining thyroid cancer. After this, daily thyroid hormone replacement therapy can be started. It is important to follow up with your physician on a regular basis to ensure the cancer has not recurred. We utilize state-of-the art radiological imaging and Thyrogen testing to evaluate patients for recurrence.
External Beam Therapy and Clinical TrialsFor patients who cannot be treated adequately by standard therapies, we offer clinical trials and/or external beam radiotherapy where appropriate. The appropriate care, including diagnostic testing, the initial surgery and subsequent management, is discussed at our weekly Tumor Board meetings.
Still have questions?The nurses at Cancer AnswerLine™ have answers. Call 1-800-865-1125 and you'll get a personal response from one of our registered nurses, who have years of experience in caring for people with cancer.