The rate of thyroid cancer diagnosis has been rising in the last several years. The reason for this is not entirely clear, but may be in part because we are simply finding more of these cancers. The vast majority of thyroid cancers are known as differentiated thyroid cancers, and include papillary (most common) and follicular carcinomas. Fortunately, while these are the most common types of thyroid cancer, they also possess the most favorable prognosis, having a very high cure rate when detected early. Medullary thyroid carcinoma is a less common, and more aggressive form of thyroid cancer. Anaplastic is the least common type, but also a very aggressive form of thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancers are usually first detected as a lump in the neck, or thyroid nodule. In some cases, the nodule can be diagnosed as cancerous with a simple needle biopsy. In other cases, a diagnosis of cancer cannot be made without definitive surgical removal of the nodule. The primary mode of treatment for thyroid cancer is surgery to remove the cancer and thyroid gland, as well as any involved areas of lymph nodes. In more advanced tumors, it may be recommended to remove certain areas of lymph nodes even when there is no obvious tumor present in the nodes. Additional treatment after surgery such as radioactive iodine may be recommended in certain cases, especially for more advanced cancers.
The physicians at Peak ENT are experienced in the surgical treatment of thyroid cancer and will work along with the rest of your treatment team to ensure the most successful outcome possible.
For additional information about thyroid cancer and its treatment, see this educational booklet, Thyroid Cancer Basics, which is provided by the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association.