Treatment Options for Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid is an organ that produces hormones that play a role in the various functions of your body. Your thyroid can help control how fast your heart beats, how your metabolism functions, and how digestion works. This organ, located in the front portion of the neck near the base, is quite small but must work properly to keep you healthy. Some people develop thyroid disease, and it’s not uncommon, with more than 20 million people in the U.S. with this disorder. Some people develop thyroid cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Not everyone who has thyroid disease has thyroid cancer. Surgical Oncologist, Dr. Ana K. Wilson with Premier Surgical at Fort Sanders Regional in Knoxville explains, “Thyroid cancers can often be asymptomatic and are identified on ultrasound. They can also present as a lump in the neck either in the middle of the neck where the thyroid gland is, or sometimes on the side of the neck, where the lymph nodes are.”

Thyroid cancer can develop when there are changes in the DNA within the cells of the thyroid. These mutations grow and multiply, accumulating in a mass called a tumor. That tumor can move into other areas and spread through the lymph nodes to other areas of the body, such as the lungs, bones, and other areas.

How to Treat Thyroid Cancer

There are numerous types of cancer of the thyroid, and each one requires a different treatment method. After ultrasounds and getting a better idea of the location of the cancer, doctors can create a plan for treating it. This may include a thyroidectomy, surgery to remove all or most of the thyroid as a way to remove the cancer cells. There are medications available that can mimic the function of the thyroid if it is no longer present.

If surgery is not an option, radioactive iodine may be used as a way to kill the thyroid cells. This may also be done after surgery.

Some people may also benefit from the use of targeted drug therapy that blocks specific chemicals to cause cancer cells to die. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other treatments may also be available to kill any remaining cancer cells that develop.

Seek Out a Consultation Today

If you are looking for options for treating thyroid cancer, let our team provide you with guidance on the most effective, long-term solutions available. Our board-certified surgeons, Ana K. Wilson, DO and David J. Harrell, MD, FACS and MIchael E. Kelly, MD, FACS, are experienced in diagnosing and treating thyroid cancer. To request an appointment with a Premier Surgical Associates’ physician, visit REQUEST APPOINTMENT.