The surgery involves the removal of the thyroid gland or only the cancerous part in it. It could be a lobectomy or total thyroidectomy.
The thyroid has a butterfly-shaped appearance, containing two lobes called the right and the left lobe. Both are joined by a tissue called isthmus(which connects the two lobes ) Lobectomy involves the removal of the thyroid lobe along with isthmus. It is usually performed for cancer that is localized and cancer that is well differentiated- they look like normal cells though being cancerous
Lymph nodes sometimes are also removed, and called neck dissection. Surgery is performed under general anesthesia. a small incision is made into your neck to excise the entire thyroid gland. Even a few lymph nodes that are cancerous are also removed.
Some of the side effects of surgery include
Another long-term side effect could include
1. Damage to nerves
2. Removal of the parathyroid glands(which are present within the thyroid gland ) It serves the very important function of calcium level regulation. This could lead to low calcium levels in the blood.
You can reach out to your healthcare team if the side effects worsen.
Thyroid hormone replacement therapy
Since the thyroid gland is removed completely, the body falls short of the thyroid hormones. It is replaced by medicines that are analogous to the hormones in terms of their function. This is called Thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Commonly used drugs include levothyroxine.
Radioactive iodine therapy (RAI)
It involves the use of radioactive iodine ( Iodine 131) to kill the cancer cells present in the thyroid gland. These thyroid cells will take up the radioactive iodine and this way we can target and kill those cells.
RAI is used when there is a chance of recurrence, and also sometimes to treat metastatic cancers.
It involves the use of high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells or prevent their growth. It can be used when surgery or RAI (Radioactive Iodine Treatment ) cannot be done. It is used when the cancer cells have spread to other parts such as the lungs, or brain. It is also used to relieve cancer symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or pain in the neck.
Systemic therapy is a treatment where medicines are put into the bloodstream to fight thyroid cancer. There are three main types: targeted therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.
Chemotherapy isn't commonly used for thyroid cancer, except when other treatments don't work or if cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized).
Targeted therapy is used for specific kinds of thyroid cancer. It's often chosen when cancer has spread, comes back after treatment, or when standard treatments like surgery or radioactive iodine aren't suitable. This therapy is precise and focuses on the parts of cancer cells that drive their growth.
If you have any uncertainties or seek a better understanding of thyroid cancer, we invite you to reach out to CION Cancer Clinics. Our team is here to assist you. Feel free to contact us at 1800 120 2676, or you can conveniently fill out the form through the provided link.