How to Treat Thyroid Cancer?


What’s the treatment for thyroid cancer?


The goal of treatment for thyroid cancer is to eliminate all cancer cells in your body. There are several types of treatment you can choose from. Which treatment is the most appropriate one depends on the type and stage of your cancer.


In a surgery for thyroid cancer, the doctor decides how to operate based on your specific condition. If most of the thyroid is removed, the surgery is called thyroidectomy. If only a portion of the thyroid is removed, it is known as thyroid lobectomy. In some cases, enlarged lymph nodes in your neck are cut off.

Thyroid hormone therapy

After thyroidectomy, you have to take thyroid hormone medication, levothyroxine, for life. It takes the place of the thyroid to supply necessary hormones. Meanwhile, it suppresses the production of thyroid-stimulating hormone to stop any remaining cancer cells from growing.

Radioactive iodine

This type of treatment is often used after thyroidectomy. It can destroy any remaining healthy thyroid tissue. It is also helpful when the cancer recurs after treatment or has moved to other parts of the body.

External radiation therapy

If you can’t have surgery or the cancer continues to develop after radioactive iodine treatment, you can turn to external radiation therapy. Besides, it can prevent the cancer from recurring after surgery.


In chemotherapy, drugs are used to kill cancer cells. Though it is a common treatment for cancers, it is not a typical therapy for thyroid cancer.

Injecting alcohol into cancers

In this treatment, your doctor injects small thyroid cancers with alcohol using imaging to ensure precise placement of the injection. It helps to treat thyroid cancer that develops in areas that are hard to access.

Targeted drug therapy

Medications used in this therapy attack specific vulnerabilities in cancer cells. It’s a treatment for people with advanced thyroid cancer. Common drugs include cabozantinib (Cometriq), sorafenib (Nexavar), and vandetanib (Caprelsa).


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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.