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Thyroid Tumour

Treatment

The treatment for thyroid cancer may be done through the following options:

  • Surgery: Surgery is one of the primary treatments for thyroid cancers. The type of surgery depends upon the spread of cancer within the thyroid gland. Some of the surgery types include:
      Thyroidectomy: It is one of the most common procedures for thyroid cancer. It is performed when cancer spreads to both the lobes of the thyroid gland. This surgery involves the removal of complete thyroid tissues (total thyroidectomy) or most of the thyroid tissues (near-total thyroidectomy).
      Thyroid lobectomy: The patients undergo thyroid lobectomy when the cancer is slow growing and is limited to only one of the lobes of the thyroid gland, and the cancer has not spread to the nearby lymph nodes.
      Lymph node dissection: This procedure involves removing the lymph nodes suspected to be affected by thyroid cancer. The lymph nodes are removed and sent to the laboratory for further examination.
  • Thyroid hormone therapy: The oncologists may prescribe thyroid hormone therapy to supplement or replace the thyroid hormones. The medications are most commonly administered in the form of tablets. The patients are prescribed high doses of thyroid hormone therapy in aggressive thyroid cancer, as it suppresses the synthesis of thyroid-stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland. Supplementation with thyroid hormones is also required when the thyroid gland is removed as a strategy for thyroid cancer treatment.
  • Radioactive iodine: Radioactive iodine therapy is effective in managing differentiated thyroid cancers with the potential to spread to other body parts. It involves the administration of radioactive iodine that kills thyroid cancer cells. Thyroid cancers, such as follicular, papillary, and Hurthle cells, respond to radioactive iodine therapy. However, radioactive iodine therapy does not generally treat medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancers.
  • Radiation therapy: External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is commonly performed in patients with medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancers. Patients with an increased risk of cancer recurrence or the ones who have cancer metastasis are usually treated with thyroid cancer.
  • Chemotherapy: In the case of thyroid cancer, chemotherapy is usually not prescribed, as other treatments are most effective for managing the disease. Chemotherapy is generally combined with radiation therapy in anaplastic thyroid cancer or thyroid cancer unresponsive to other treatments.
  • Targeted drug therapy: Targeted therapy is prescribed for patients with thyroid cancer who do not respond to other methods or treatment modalities. These drugs prevent the formation of new blood vessels or target the proteins in the cancer cells that are important for their growth.
  • Ablation: Several types of ablation procedures assist in managing thyroid cancer that has spread to other areas. Cryoablation involves freezing gasses to kill cancer cells, while radiofrequency ablation uses electricity to destroy cancer cells. Ethanol ablation is another procedure comprising injecting alcohol into areas of thyroid cancer. It is done under the guidance of ultrasound.

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