“Thyroid cancer treatment options: surgery, radiation, and medications” is a collaborative post.
Thyroid cancer is a relatively rare but treatable cancer affecting the thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped organ at the base of your neck. When diagnosed early, thyroid cancer has an excellent prognosis, and several treatment options are available to manage it effectively. This article will explore the key treatment options for thyroid cancer, including surgery, radiation therapy, and medications, to help you understand the choices available for managing this condition. When diagnosed with thyroid cancer, seeking treatment at an oncology hospital in Hyderabad is crucial. These specialised medical facilities have the expertise and state-of-the-art technology required for accurate diagnosis, precise treatment planning, and comprehensive care for thyroid cancer patients.
Surgery for thyroid cancer
Surgery for thyroid cancer is often the primary treatment option, and it is crucial to have the procedure performed at a specialised oncology hospital in hyderabad. It aims to get rid of as much malignant tissue as feasible. Here are some key aspects of thyroid cancer surgery:
- Thyroidectomy: A thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of the thyroid gland. Depending on the extent of the cancer, surgeons remove a portion (partial thyroidectomy) or the entire gland (total thyroidectomy).
- Lymph node dissection: If cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, your surgeon may also remove these lymph nodes during the surgery.
- Minimally invasive approaches: Some patients may be candidates for minimally invasive surgery, such as robotic-assisted or laparoscopic thyroidectomy, which can result in smaller incisions and a quicker recovery.
- Potential complications: Despite the fact that thyroid surgery is largely risk-free, there are potential side effects, such as harm to surrounding tissues like the parathyroid glands, which regulate the body’s calcium levels. However, talented surgeons can reduce these hazards.
It uses high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to kill the cells or prevent their growth. In the context of thyroid cancer treatment, radiation therapy may be employed in the following scenarios:
- Adjuvant radiation: After surgery, radiation therapy may be recommended to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.
- Palliative radiation: In cases where thyroid cancer has spread to other body parts and cannot be completely removed by surgery, radiation therapy can help manage symptoms and slow the cancer’s growth.
- Radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy: This specialised radiation therapy involves swallowing a radioactive iodine pill. Thyroid cells are particularly sensitive to iodine, so the radioactive iodine is taken up by any remaining thyroid tissue or cancer cells and helps to destroy them.
In addition to surgery and radiation therapy, medications are crucial in managing thyroid cancer. Here are some essential medication options:
- Thyroid hormone replacement: After surgery to remove the thyroid gland (total thyroidectomy), patients will need lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy to maintain normal thyroid hormone levels in the body.
- Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs): TKIs are targeted therapies that can block the growth of cancer cells by interfering with specific proteins involved in their growth and division. Drugs like lenvatinib and sorafenib may be prescribed for advanced thyroid cancer cases.
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors: These medications help boost the body’s immune response against cancer cells. Pembrolizumab and nivolumab are immune checkpoint inhibitors that may be used in certain cases of advanced thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer treatment options have come a long way, and with early diagnosis and the right approach, the prognosis for thyroid cancer patients is generally positive. Selecting the best course of therapy depends on factors like the stage of cancer, the extent of spread, and individual patient considerations. At an oncology hospital in Hyderabad, patients can expect comprehensive care, access to the latest treatments, and a multidisciplinary team of experts working together to provide the best possible outcome.