How Is Hurthle Cell Carcinoma Detected?
The most noticeable sign of Hurthle cell cancer is the presence of lumps or nodules around the throat. Patients may discover these growths themselves while at home. In other cases, Hurthle cell cancer can be found during a routine check-up as your doctor examines your throat. Once cancer is suspected, you will be referred to a thyroid specialist who will perform the necessary tests to determine the likelihood of cancer. Blood tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, and thyroid uptake tests are some of the more common methods used to screen for cancer.
Will A Biopsy Determine My Hurthle Cell Cancer?
Unlike other thyroid cancers, Hurthle cell carcinoma is not confirmed using a biopsy. A fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy can determine if there is a presence of Hurthle cells in the growth, but it cannot determine if the growth is cancerous or non-cancerous. Hurthle cell carcinoma differs from many cancers in that the official diagnosis is not made until after the growth is surgically removed and tested.
What Are Some Common Hurthle Cell Carcinoma Treatments?
The typical treatment for Hurthle cell carcinoma is thyroid surgery. Radioactive iodine or external beam radiation therapy may also be used alongside thyroid cancer surgery for comprehensive treatment.
|HURTHLE CELL CARCINOMA TREATMENTS
|Thyroid Cancer Surgery
|Thyroid cancer surgery requires the removal of cancerous tissue from the thyroid gland. All of the thyroid will be surgically removed during this procedure. If your Hurthle cell cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, then these nodes may also be removed.
|Radioiodine may be used following thyroid surgery to help shrink Hurthle cell tumors. Radioactive iodine is taken orally in a capsule or liquid dosage. Once a dose is administered, the radioiodine is absorbed by cancer cells in the thyroid. The radioactive iodine then destroys these cancer cells.
|External Beam Radiation Therapy
|External beam therapy may be used to help control and prevent the growth of Hurthle cell tumors. During this procedure, controlled bursts of radiation are directed to the thyroid gland. This radiation destroys cancer cells while causing minimal damage to the surrounding tissues.
|Thyroid medication is usually prescribed after thyroid removal surgery. These medicines help balance the amount of thyroid hormones present in the body. Some medications can increase the amount of thyroid hormones produced, while antithyroid medicines can limit the amount of thyroid hormones in the body.
What Can I Expect Following Hurthle Cell Cancer Surgery In NYC?
Patients are usually discharged from the hospital after 1-2 days following Hurthle cell carcinoma surgery. A liquid diet may be recommended for the first few days because swallowing may be difficult and uncomfortable. Any discomfort can be easily tolerated with pain medication. Our thyroid cancer surgeon may prescribe a calcium course to prevent hypocalcemia (low calcium levels in the blood).
It is important to rest and recover following your Hurthle cell cancer treatment. Vigorous activities and strenuous exercise should be avoided until permitted by Dr. Shin. Specific post-care instructions and guidelines can be discussed in more detail during your consultation for Hurthle cell carcinoma surgery.