How Is Follicular Thyroid Cancer Diagnosed?
Your doctor may be able to detect follicular thyroid cancer during a routine check-up. If this is the case, you will be referred to a thyroid specialist for additional screenings. Blood tests, ultrasounds, radioactive iodine uptake tests, and fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies may be performed to determine if your thyroid growth is follicular cancer.
Will A Biopsy Determine My Follicular Thyroid Cancer?
An FNA biopsy uses laboratory testing to determine whether your growth is malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). During your biopsy, a tiny needle is inserted into the growth to extract a sample. This sample is then sent to a pathologist for comprehensive tests. The results of your biopsy will be known within a few days.
What Are Some Common Follicular Thyroid Cancer Treatments?
Advances in technology have led to many innovative cancer treatments. The most common method for treating follicular thyroid cancer is thyroid removal surgery. Our thyroid doctor may combine additional techniques for a comprehensive approach. Below are some common cancer treatments that may be used to treat your follicular thyroid cancer.
|FOLLICULAR THYROID CANCER TREATMENTS
|Thyroid Removal Surgery
|Thyroid surgery is usually recommended to remove cancerous growths from the thyroid gland. Depending on the extent of your follicular cancer, our thyroid surgeon may remove the entire thyroid to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
|Radioactive iodine (RAI) is a non-surgical treatment option to treat follicular cancer cells. Radioiodine is administered orally (typically in a pill or liquid dosage). The radioactive iodine is swallowed and then travels to the thyroid gland. Cancerous follicular cells absorb the radioiodine, destroying them.
|External Beam Therapy
|External beam therapy uses radiation to destroy cancerous cells. The machine used to deliver radiation is called a linear accelerator. The patient lies flat while the linear accelerator moves around the patient, sending targeted radiation to the thyroid.
|Chemotherapy may be used alongside other methods when treating follicular thyroid cancer. This method uses anti-cancer medicines that are either taken by mouth or injected into the body. Chemotherapy attacks cancer cells that quickly divide and multiply.
|Targeted therapy is another type of treatment that can attack cancerous follicular cells. These medicines selectively target the proteins and genes of cancer cells to destroy them. Targeted therapy medications are taken orally.
|Following your follicular cancer treatment, you may be prescribed thyroid medication to maintain proper hormone levels. Depending on the patient’s needs, thyroid medicines can either increase or decrease the amount of thyroid hormones present in the body.
What Can I Expect Following Follicular Cancer Surgery?
Patients are usually released from the hospital 1-2 days after thyroid cancer surgery. You may have trouble swallowing at first; this is normal and a liquid diet may be recommended for the first few days of your recovery. Our thyroid surgeon will prescribe pain medication to alleviate any discomfort. Calcium supplements may be recommended to prevent hypocalcemia (low calcium levels in the blood). Vigorous activities and exercise should be avoided until permitted by Dr. Shin. In general, patients resume most of their daily activities within 2-3 weeks. Dr. Shin can further discuss guidelines, instructions, and timetables with you during your consultation for follicular thyroid cancer surgery.