Health Encyclopedia

 

Cancer Care



What to Know About Your Treatment Options for Thyroid Cancer

What to Know About Your Treatment Options for Thyroid Cancer

If you have thyroid cancer, you probably have many questions and concerns about your treatment options. It's normal to want to learn all you can.

Your doctor will base your treatment plan on the type of thyroid cancer you have. The majority of thyroid cancers are slow to grow and to metastasize, but there are thyroid cancer types that can be very aggressive. Your doctor will treat these differently. Your doctor will also consider your age, your health, the size and location of your tumor, and other factors.

Woman talking with a doctor in an office

Your treatments may be local or systemic, or both. Local treatment removes, destroys, or controls cancer cells in one area. For thyroid cancer, the most common local treatment is surgery. Systemic treatment destroys or controls cancer cells throughout your entire body. For thyroid cancer, radioactive iodine therapy and chemotherapy are the main types of systemic treatments.

These are the main treatments for thyroid cancer.

  • Surgery

  • Radioactive iodine

  • Thyroid hormone treatment

  • External radiation therapy

  • Chemotherapy

You may have just one treatment or a combination of treatments. Most people with thyroid cancer have surgery, followed by radioactive iodine therapy.

If your thyroid cancer is widespread, you also may receive palliative treatments, which help control your symptoms without killing the cancer. Palliative treatments may include pain medication.

Your doctor is the best person to answer your questions about treatments. Here are some questions you might ask your doctor before beginning treatments.

  • Which treatments are best for me?

  • How successful will they be?

  • What are the risks and side effects of each treatment?

  • How long will it take to recover from treatment?

  • What are the chances that the cancer will come back after treatment?

 
Related Items
Content Type 167
  Calcitonin
Drug Reference
  Doxorubicin
  Levothyroxine
  Thyrotropin Alfa
Cancer Source
  What Is Thyroid Cancer?
  Statistics About Thyroid Cancer
  Am I At Risk for Thyroid Cancer?
  How Can I Prevent Thyroid Cancer?
  What Are the Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer?
  How Does My Doctor Know I Have Thyroid Cancer?
  Understanding Your Stage of Thyroid Cancer
  What to Know About Surgery for Thyroid Cancer
  What to Know About Radioactive Iodine Therapy for Thyroid Cancer
  What to Know About Hormone Therapy for Thyroid Cancer
  Thyroid Cancer External Radiation Therapy
  Thyroid Cancer Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapy
Cancer FAQs
  Thyroid Cancer FAQ
Daily News Feed
  Too Many Unnecessary Thyroid Biopsies Performed, Experts Say
  Cancer Drug Nexavar Tied to Pancreas Damage in 2 Patients
  Steady Rise in Thyroid Cancer Not Explained by Better Screening, Study Says
  Nexavar Approval Expanded for Common Thyroid Cancer
  Minorities, Poor More Likely to Be Diagnosed With Advanced Thyroid Cancer
  Thyroid Tumors May Be More Dangerous for Cancer Survivors: Study
  Surge in Thyroid Cancer Cases May Be Due to Overdiagnoses: Study
  New Drug Shows Promise for Resistant Thyroid Cancer
  Sophisticated Chest Scans May Raise Children's Lifetime Cancer Risk
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Thyroid Tumor Overview