Know Your Options

Click on each colored circle to view more information on each option.

Not all treatment approaches are recommended for all situations. Below are a few examples:

Lump (Nodule) Discovered Lump (Nodule) Discovered

“At my Annual Physical, my doctor found lump(s) in my neck. I had a Neck Ultrasound confirming nodule(s) 1 cm (10 mm). Fine needle biopsies (FNA) were performed and results are low suspicion (5-10% risk of cancer)/indeterminate (Doctor not sure if its cancer).”

Cancer Suspected Cancer Suspected

“I found lump(s) in my neck. My doctor referred me to an endocrinologist who performed a neck ultrasound. The mass(es) is(are) 2-4 cm (20 to 40 mm). Differentiated Thyroid Cancer suspected.”

Lobectomy Performed Lobectomy Performed

“I was diagnosed with Differentiated Thyroid cancer. I had a lobectomy (surgeon removed just a portion of my thyroid gland).”

Thyroidectomy Performed Thyroidectomy Performed

“I was diagnosed with Differentiated Thyroid cancer. I had a total thyroidectomy. (Surgeon removed my entire thyroid gland)”

Why Would You Wait?

Perhaps you want/need more information before you decide to get treatment or the timing is not optimal at the moment for surgery followed by Radioiodine therapy. It is YOUR decision. You need to know though that “Watchful Wait” refers to NO treatment and monitoring to see how thyroid cancer progresses. It is sometimes called “Active Surveillance” or “Observation only”. Experts do not agree on the intervals between check ups and which doctor should be responsible for long-term follow-up.

Informed Consent

Getting Surgery

Surgery is usually the first step in thyroid cancer treatment. Total Thyroidectomy removes all or most of your thyroid gland (both lobes). Lobectomy removes part of your thyroid gland. Thyroid cancer cells are microscopic (very small) and may not be completely removed with surgery.

Choosing Radioactive Iodine (Iodine-131)

Thyroid cells have “iodine pumps” that absorb iodine as it enters your body and use it to produce thyroid hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. Thyroid cells absorb radioactive iodine in the same way—except that the radioactivity destroys any remaining normal or cancerous thyroid cells left behind after surgery. Radioactive iodine also destroys remaining thyroid cancer cells anywhere in the body, including those that may have “escaped” (metastasized). Studies have shown that 10 years after receiving RAI and surgery (total thyroidectomy), 96% of patients had survived. The combination of surgery and RAI has been the standard of care for decades.

Treatment Breakdown