Thyroid cancer

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Treatments for thyroid cancer can include:

  • active surveillance
  • surgery
  • thyroid hormone replacement therapy
  • radiation therapy, including radioactive iodine treatment
  • chemotherapy
  • targeted therapy
  • palliative care.

Most people with cancer have one or more of these treatments.

Not all treatments are suitable for every person with thyroid cancer. Some treatments can only be used for certain types of thyroid cancer, e.g. radioactive iodine can only be used to treat papillary and follicular thyroid cancers.

Choose the option that best suits your situation

Some thyroid cancers may not need treatment straightaway.
The type of surgery you have depends on your cancer.
Hormonal therapy uses drugs to treat cancers that are sensitive to hormones.
Radiation therapy is a way of treating cancers using X-rays or other types of radiation.
Chemotherapy, also known as chemo, is a way of treating cancer using drugs.
Targeted therapy uses drugs that affect specific cells in some cancers.
Immunotherapy helps the body’s immune system to fight cancer.
Palliative care deals with managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

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It is good to be prepared for side effects and know how to manage them.
Looking after your general health is important, even when you have cancer.
It is important to ask about costs before you start your treatment.