Thyroid Carcinoma Treatment
Treatment for thyroid cancer depends on the type of thyroid cancer and the extent of cancer spread (cancer stage). Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or some combination.
Chemotherapy uses medications that either kill cancer cells directly, or interfere with their metabolism. Radiation therapy uses x-rays to directly kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy delivers a focused beam of radiation to the cancer so that any damage to surrounding tissue is minimized. Additional treatment for thyroid cancer may include thyroid hormone supplements.
Treatment for thyroid cancer may include:
- Surgery to remove thyroid cancer:
- Surgery to remove the entire thyroid gland or part of the thyroid gland
- The lymph nodes in the neck may also need to be removed.
- External radiation therapy for thyroid cancer
- Radioactive medication that targets the thyroid gland and kills cancer cells:
- Chemotherapy for thyroid cancer:
- Thyroid hormone therapy:
- To replace missing thyroid hormone after surgery, chemotherapy. or radiation therapy
- Levothyroxine (Synthroid)
- Medications for nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy:
- Aprepitant (Emend)
- Dolasetron (Anzemet)
- Granisetron (Kytril)
- Metoclopramide (Reglan)
- Ondansetron (Zofran)
- Palonosetron (Aloxi)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro)
- Targeted therapy:
Thyroid Carcinoma Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of thyroid cancer.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk of complications?
- Are my children at risk for thyroid cancer?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Thyroid Carcinoma Specialist
Continue to Thyroid Carcinoma Home Care
- Angelos P. Current approaches to the treatment of well-differentiated thyroid cancer. Oncology (Williston Park). 2002 Mar;16(3):309-15. 
- Intenzo CM, Jabbour S, Dam HQ, Capuzzi DM. Changing concepts in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer. Semin Nucl Med. 2005 Oct;35(4):257-65. 
- Navarro Silvera SA, Miller AB, Rohan TE. Risk factors for thyroid cancer: a prospective cohort study. Int J Cancer. 2005 Sep 1;116(3):433-8. 
- Ringel MD. Diagnostic molecular markers in thyroid cancer. Cancer Treat Res. 2004;122:295-316.