4 Treatment Options For Thyroid Cancer

Posted on: 29 January 2018


Thyroid cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the thyroid gland. It affects the gland's production of hormones that assist the body in utilising energy causing weakness, fatigue and muscle aches among other problems. Although it is not a commonly occurring cancer, its incidence in Australia is increasing significantly. Here are some treatment options for thyroid cancer.

1.  Surgery

The initial treatment for thyroid cancer in many cases is usually surgery. The particular procedure you might undergo depends on:

  •    Whether they are removing lymph nodes lying in proximity to the cancerous area.
  •    Whether they are extricating a part of the thyroid or all of it.

Thyroidectomy is the procedure used to remove the whole thyroid. A surgeon, like Jane Harding Endocrine Surgeon, makes several incisions across your neck to get to the thyroid. If the diagnosis indicates that the cancer is small, the surgeon might opt only to remove a part or half of the gland. This procedure is known as thyroid lobectomy.  The central advantage it has is that you may not require thyroid hormone pills post-surgery since a part of the gland is still intact. If the lymph nodes surrounding your neck happen to be infected the surgeon will opt to remove them. Surgery to treat the cancer requires general anaesthesia. You get discharged after a few days.

2.   Radioactive Iodine Treatment

Once the surgery is over the doctor might recommend radioactive iodine treatment to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent them from recurring. Two weeks before surgery you need to reduce your iodine intakes like soy, eggs, and seafood. The radioactive iodine comes as a capsule or liquid. It kills any thyroid gland cells including cancerous ones without harming other body cells.

3.   External Radiotherapy

If radioactive iodine therapy isn't working, external radiotherapy is deployed. It helps reduce cancer recurrence and happens over a four to six-week window. Treatments are administered daily with a weekend break for the body to rest.

4.   Alcohol Ablation

In the case of small thyroid cancers, the doctor can opt to inject them with alcohol. An ultrasound is used to determine the precise injection location. Alcohol ablation is useful in treating small cancers that are hard to reach with surgery.


Thyroid cancer interferes with the thyroid gland's operation hampering hormone production. If you are diagnosed with it, treatment can span surgery to radiotherapy using iodine or typical chemotherapy. Your doctor will design the most suitable plan to help you combat thyroid cancer for your health and wellness.