Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck and produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the thyroid gland grow uncontrollably and form a tumor.
The treatment of thyroid cancer typically involves surgery, radiation therapy, and/or radioactive iodine therapy, depending on the stage of the cancer and the patient’s individual circumstances.
Surgery is the most common treatment for thyroid cancer and involves removing the cancerous tissue from the thyroid gland. Depending on the size and location of the cancer, the surgeon may perform a lobectomy, which removes only one lobe of the thyroid gland, or a total thyroidectomy, which removes the entire thyroid gland.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It may be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells or to shrink a tumor before surgery. External beam radiation therapy delivers radiation from a machine outside the body, while internal radiation therapy involves swallowing a radioactive capsule that delivers radiation directly to the thyroid gland.
Radioactive iodine therapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that targets thyroid cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body. The patient swallows a capsule containing radioactive iodine, which is absorbed by the thyroid cells and destroys them.
The success rate of thyroid cancer treatment depends on many factors, including the stage of the cancer, the size and location of the tumor, and the patient’s age and overall health. According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year relative survival rate for people with thyroid cancer is nearly 100% for stage 1 and 2 tumors. Even for those with stage 3 or 4 thyroid cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate is around 93%.
It’s important to note that these statistics are averages and don’t necessarily predict an individual’s chances of survival. The success rate of thyroid cancer treatment can vary widely depending on individual circumstances. It’s also important to remember that early detection and treatment can greatly improve the chances of successful treatment and survival. Regular thyroid checks and screenings are important for anyone with a family history of thyroid cancer or other risk factors.
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