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.
“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).”
“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.”
“I was diagnosed with Differentiated Thyroid cancer. I had a lobectomy (surgeon removed just a portion of my thyroid gland).”
“I was diagnosed with Differentiated Thyroid cancer. I had a total thyroidectomy. (Surgeon removed my entire thyroid gland)”
No treatment. Monitoring disease progression during regular visits. Tests may be performed for example blood tests, ultrasound of the neck, fine needle biopsies.
Physicians may propose to their patients with indeterminate or cancerous small nodules (less than 10 mm/1 cm), to hold off treatment and come for regular follow-up visits. It is important to discuss all aspects including your ability to adhere to this follow-up schedule, costs associated and coverage by insurance.
Some physicians propose to their patients with known cancerous nodules of 20 mm (2 cm) to 40 mm (4 cm) to hold off treatment and come for regular follow-up visits to follow the disease status (progression or stable). It is important to discuss all aspects including your ability to adhere to this follow-up schedule, costs associated and coverage by insurance.
Removal of cancerous tissue. Lobectomy means only one lobe of the thyroid is removed. Total thyroidectomy means the removal of the entire thyroid gland.
This is not a common scenario. It is the patient’s choice to have surgery or not once the diagnosis is made that the lesion(s) is cancerous, however small it may be.
Surgery is effective by standard of care for thyroid cancer treatment. Depending on the situation, the surgeon may propose lobectomy or total thyroidectomy.
Radioactive iodine is administered by mouth in either liquid or capsule form. I-131 treats thyroid cancer and minimizes the potential for any remaining or “escaped” thyroid cells from becoming more aggressive and unresponsive to later treatment.
Standard of care following surgery. Studies have shown that patients who undergo radio-iodine therapy after surgery have 10 year survival of 96%.
Not recommended in case of lobectomy because the radioactive iodine would kill the remaining thyroid cells in the thyroid gland lobe left in place.
Standard of care following total thyroidectomy. Studies have shown that patients who undergo radio-iodine therapy after surgery have 10 year survival of 96%.