Thyroid Cancer: Treatment After Surgery

by Columbia Surgery on September 12, 2013


Salila Kurra, MD

Salila Kurra, MD, Co-director of the Columbia Adrenal Center

Patients and families may be interested to know that treatment of thyroid cancer differs from treatment of other cancers in some unique ways.

As readers may already be aware, thyroid cancer tends to be slow growing, allowing for most patients to be evaluated and treated before it spreads beyond the thyroid. Surgical treatment of thyroid cancer has a high rate of success and most patients can expect a full recovery and an excellent prognosis. In fact after surgery, some patients require no further treatment other than thyroid hormone replacement.

One significant difference between the post-surgical treatment of thyroid cancer and other cancers is that chemotherapy is not commonly used to treat thyroid cancer.  Instead, some patients are prescribed radioactive iodine therapy after thyroidectomy to help ensure that no residual cancer cells remain in the surrounding tissue.

166258239Because radiation therapy is administered in the form of a radioactive iodine pill rather than external radiation, thyroid cancer patients see their endocrinologist for their post-operative care.

Although in most cases thyroid cancer is very treatable, is it important to have close follow-up with an endocrinologist for monitoring and continued treatment. Thyroid cancer treatment is individualized, and decisions regarding whether or not radioactive iodine treatment is required should be made in close consultation with an endocrinologist.

Learn more about thyroid cancer and its treatment at the New York Thyroid Center.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jill R. September 17, 2013 at 12:55 am

After being dx with pap thyroid cancer years ago I have some nodules that are still suspicious. However, upon bx the pain is so excruciating I am unable to remain still to get one pass. So far they are unable to get ant tissue. Should I be put under to have these box”s?

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