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Treatments for Thyroid Cancer
While standard protocols have been established for the treatment of virtually all cancers, doctors will often modify them for their individual patients. These modifications are based on many factors including the patient’s age, general health, desired results, and the specific characteristics of his cancer.
Treatment of thyroid cancer aims to:
- Completely cure the cancer
- Remove or destroy as much of the cancer as possible in order to provide the longest possible disease-free, symptom-free survival
- Even if the cancer cannot be cured, treat symptoms (such as pain or difficulty swallowing)
- In medullary cancer, screen family members
- Treat cancer which has spread elsewhere
Treatment options include:
Existing treatment protocols have been established and continue to be modified through clinical trials. These research studies are essential to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. Since highly effective treatments for many cancers remain unknown, numerous clinical trials are always underway around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor if you should consider participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the government website ClinicalTrials.gov.
Baudin E, Schlumberger M. New therapeutic approaches for metastatic thyroid carcinoma. Lancet Oncol. 2007;8:148-156.
Conn’s Current Therapy. 54th ed. Philadelphia,PA: WB Saunders; 2002: 652-657.
Cooper DS, Doherty GM, et al. The American Thyroid Association Guidelines Taskforce: management guidelines for patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. Thyroid. 2006;16:1-33.
Cornett WR, Sharma AK, et al. Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma: an overview. Curr Oncol Rep. 2007;9:152-158.
Rachmiel M, Charron M, et al. Evidence-based review of treatment and follow up of pediatric patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2006;19:1377-1393.
Thyroid carcinoma. In: Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 21st ed. Philadelphia,PA: WB Saunders; 2000: 1247-1250.
What is thyroid cancer? American Cancer Society website. Available at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/CRI%5F2%5F3x.asp?dt=43. Accessed December 10, 2002.
What you need to know about cancer of the thyroid. National Cancer Institute website. Available at http://cancer.gov. Accessed December 10, 2002.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 09/2014
- Update Date: 09/17/2014