Thyroid cancer develops in the thyroid gland, a part of the endocrine system that produces hormones that regulate body temperature, heart rate, and metabolism. The most common types of papillary and follicular thyroid cancer respond very well to treatments, and most cases are highly curable. Most thyroid cancers can be cured, especially if they haven't spread to distant parts of the body. If the cancer cannot be cured, the goal of treatment may be to remove or destroy as much of the cancer as possible and prevent it from growing, spreading, or returning for as long as possible.
Sometimes, treatment is aimed at alleviating (relieving) symptoms such as pain or problems breathing and swallowing.
Thyroid canceris usually very treatable, even if it has a more advanced stage. This is because there are effective treatments that give you a great chance to fully recover. And surgery, when needed, can sometimes cure it. It's important to contact your cancer care team to understand your diagnosis, what treatment is recommended, and ways to maintain or improve your quality of life.
If you are diagnosed with thyroid cancer, several other tests may be performed to help your doctor determine if the cancer has spread beyond the thyroid and outside the neck. Russell offers patients the option of a scarless thyroidectomy, in which the surgeon reaches the thyroid gland and removes it through the mouth, so there are no cuts or scars on the neck. The increase may be due to improved imaging technology that allows healthcare providers to find small thyroid cancers on CT scans and MRI scans performed for other conditions (incidental thyroid cancers). If a woman notices a lump at the base of her neck, or if a doctor notices a thyroid injury on an x-ray or CT scan, the next diagnostic test is usually laboratory work, followed by an ultrasound, which Russell says provides a lot of information about the nodule. You may hear about alternative or complementary methods that your doctor hasn't mentioned to treat cancer or relieve symptoms. Ultimately, how your treatment looks will depend on the stage of your cancer and the type of thyroid cancer you have.
After successful treatment, your health care provider may recommend follow-up appointments to look for signs that thyroid cancer has spread. Because we can detect small thyroid cancers with new technology, the incidence rate of thyroid cancer has increased. The health care provider may recommend regular blood tests or thyroid scans to check for signs that the cancer has returned. This means that the estimate may not reflect the results of advances in the way thyroid cancer is diagnosed or treated in the past 5 years. The patient will then take thyroid hormones to cover the loss of the gland and radioactive iodine to treat any remaining cancer cells. Researchers believe that part of the reason for the increase was that new and highly sensitive diagnostic tests led to greater detection of smaller cancers.
The 5-year survival rate is nearly 100% for localized papillary, follicular, and medullary thyroid cancers. The thyroid is shaped like a small butterfly and is usually located inside the lower front of the neck. Depending on the cancer, the doctor may remove only part of the thyroid, a procedure known as a thyroidectomy. If you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, it's important to understand your diagnosis and treatment options so you can make informed decisions about your care. With early detection and proper treatment, most people with this type of cancer can expect a full recovery.