Some types of thyroid cancer grow slowly. It is possible that treatment can be delayed or that treatment may not be needed. You and your doctor will watch for signs that the cancer is progressing.
The treatment plan will often include a combination of approaches. It is based on the type of cancer, patient's age, general health, and prognosis. When needed, the main treatment is to remove the thyroid gland. If the cancer is in early stages or is not aggressive, only part of the thyroid will need to be removed. Daily pills will be needed for the rest of your life if the entire gland is removed. Other treatment can help to prevent the spread or recurrence of cancer. Comfort measures can be provided if thyroid cancer is in advanced stages.
Most types of thyroid cancer have a good prognosis when treated. Anaplastic thyroid cancer spreads fast and is difficult to treat. Almost all deaths occur within the first year of diagnosis.
You will have a care team that is made up of doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals. It is important to keep in touch with your medical team. Talk to them about your health goals and any problems you are having. Follow your treatment plan and go to all appointments as recommended for best outcomes possible.
Thyroid cancer treatment includes:
Clinical trials help to find new treatment options. There are a number of clinical trials underway around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor if a clinical trial may be a good options for you. You can find out about clinical trials at the US National Institutes of Health website.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/anaplastic-thyroid-cancer. Updated June 29, 2018. Accessed December 8, 2018.
General information about thyroid cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/thyroid/patient/thyroid-treatment-pdq. Updated August 18, 2017. Accessed December 8, 2018.
Follicular thyroid cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/follicular-thyroid-cancer-21. Updated June 27, 2017. Accessed December 8, 2018.
Medullary thyroid cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:hhttps://www.dynamed.com/condition/medullary-thyroid-cancer. Updated June 29, 2018. Accessed December 8, 2018.
Papillary thyroid cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/papillary-thyroid-cancer. Updated August 15, 2018. Accessed December 8, 2018.
Treating thyroid cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/thyroid-cancer/treating.html. Accessed December 8, 2018.
Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/thyroid/patient/thyroid-treatment-pdq#section/_67. Updated August 18, 2017. Accessed December 8, 2018.
Thyroid cancer (papillary and follicular). American Thyroid Association website. Available at: https://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-cancer. Accessed December 8, 2018.
Thyroid cancers. Merck Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine-and-metabolic-disorders/thyroid-disorders/thyroid-cancers. Updated July 2016. Accessed December 8, 2018.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP Last Updated: 11/8/2017