Thyroide Cancer Treatment

The treatment recommended for patient will depend on a number of things, including:

  • The type of thyroid cancer patient have
  • The grade of patient cancer
  • Whether patient care team thinks a complete cure is realistically achievable

Most differentiated thyroid cancers (DTCs) – papillary carcinomas and follicular carcinomas – and some cases of medullary thyroid carcinomas have a good prospect of achieving a cure.

DTCs are treated using a combination of:

  • Surgery to remove patient thyroid gland (thyroidectomy)
  • A type of radiotherapy called radioactive iodine treatment, designed to destroy any remaining cancer cells and prevent the thyroid cancer returning

Medullary thyroid carcinomas tend to spread faster than DTCs, so it may be necessary to remove patient thyroid gland and any nearby lymph nodes (small glands that remove unwanted bacteria from the body). Radiotherapy iodine treatment is not used because it is ineffective in treating this type of thyroid cancer.

Stage 4 medullary thyroid carcinomas are not usually curable, but it should be possible to slow their progression and control any associated symptoms.

In most cases of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, a cure is not usually achievable. This is because by the time the condition has been diagnosed, it has usually spread to other parts of the body, such as the windpipe and lungs.

After having thyroid surgery, a course of radioactive iodine treatment may be recommended. This will help destroy any remaining cancer cells in patient body and prevent the cancer returning.