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Papillary carcinoma of the thyroid
There are three types of thyroid cancer treatment:
Surgery is done to remove as much of the cancer as possible. The bigger the lump, the more of the thyroid gland must be removed. Frequently, the entire gland is taken out.
After the surgery, most patients should receive radioactive iodine, which is usually taken by mouth. This substance kills any remaining thyroid tissue. It also helps make medical images more clear, so doctors can see if there is any additional cancer.
If surgery is not an option, external radiation therapy can be useful.
After surgery or radioactive iodine, the patient will need to take medication called levothyroxine sodium for the rest of their life. This replaces the hormone that the thyroid would normally make.
Most patients who had thyroid cancer need to a blood test every 6 - 12 months to check thyroid levels. Other follow-up tests that may done after treatment for thyroid cancer include:
The survival rate for papillary thyroid cancer is excellent. More than 95% of adults with such cancer survive at least 10 years. The prognosis is better for patients younger than 40 and for those with smaller tumors.
The following factors may decrease the survival rate:
Call your health care provider if you have a lump in your neck.
Ladenson P, Kim M. Thyroid. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 244.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Guidelines in Oncology 2010: Thyroid Cancer. Version 1.2010.
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