Thyroid Radiation Therapy

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Once a patient is diagnosed with thyroid cancer, he or she must talk to the endocrinologist to discuss the best treatment to address the disease. Depending on the case, the doctor can prescribe any or a combination of these thyroid cancer treatments:
Chemotherapy introduces anti-cancer drugs to the body by ingestion or injection. It is not considered a primary treatment for thyroid cancer, and most cases do not require it. However, chemotherapy is combined with external beam radiation therapy when treating anaplastic thyroid tumors. Chemo drugs target cells the divide quickly, and traditional chemo agents cannot distinguish cancer cells from normal but quick dividing cells in the body.
Radiation Therapy
There are 3 types of radiation
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To thyroid cancer patients, this is commonly known as radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment. The patient ingests or is injected with radioactive iodine which is absorbed by the thyroid to produce T4 and T3 hormones. The radioactive iodine damages the thyroid cells affected by papillary and follicular cancer types.
Except for anaplastic cancer, most thyroid cancer types can be treated with surgery. The most common surgery for thyroid cancer, thyroidectomy, refers to the removal of the thyroid gland. If the cancer has affected only 1 side of the thyroid and shows no sign of spreading, the doctor can recommend a lobectomy or the removal of a lobe of the thyroid. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, the doctor can also recommend to have them removed. Thyroid surgery is usually followed up with RAI treatment.
Thyroid Hormone Therapy
Thyroid hormone therapy is usually done to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones after radiation therapy or surgery. The patient has to take levothyroxine to replace the natural hormone. The therapy may help prevent some cancer types from returning. It may also slow the growth of thyroid cancer cells that still remain within the
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