How Is Papillary Thyroid Cancer Diagnosed?
The signs of papillary thyroid cancer may be noticed during a routine examination. Advanced screening tests may be ordered to diagnose your papillary thyroid cancer. Blood tests, ultrasounds, radioactive iodine uptake, and a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy may be performed to determine if your thyroid growth is cancerous.
Will A Biopsy Determine My Papillary Thyroid Cancer?
A fine needle aspiration biopsy is used to determine if your growth is malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). During your FNA biopsy, a very small needle is inserted into the growth to remove a small sample. This sample will be sent to a pathologist to run comprehensive tests and determine if the growth is cancerous or not. The results of your biopsy are usually known within a few days.
What Are Some Common Papillary Thyroid Cancer Treatments?
There are many different modalities that can be used to treat papillary thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer surgery can remove the affected parts of the thyroid, while radioactive iodine and external beam radiation can selectively target thyroid cancer cells. Anti-cancer medicines like chemotherapy and targeted therapy can also treat papillary thyroid cancer in some cases.
|PAPILLARY THYROID CANCER TREATMENTS
|Thyroid Cancer Surgery
|Thyroid surgery can remove cancerous growths from the thyroid. Depending on your specific condition, your thyroid surgeon may remove the entire thyroid gland to completely treat the cancer and stop it from spreading.
|Radioactive Iodine (RAI)
|Radioactive iodine is an oral treatment administered in pill form or a liquid dose. Once it is swallowed, the radioiodine travels to the thyroid gland, where it is absorbed by cancerous thyroid cells. The radioactive iodine selectively destroys these cancer cells.
|External Beam Radiation Therapy
|External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) targets cancer cells using high-energy rays. The machine used to produce these rays is called a linear accelerator. This machine rotates around the patient and delivers radiation to the papillary thyroid tumor.
|Chemotherapy may be combined with other cancer treatments for comprehensive results. Chemo medicines can be administered orally or through an injection. These medicines attack cancer cells that quickly divide and multiply.
|Another cancer treatment is targeted therapy. These anti-cancer medicines target the cancer cells’ specific proteins and genes to destroy it. Targeted therapy is administered orally and can prevent cancer cells from forming new blood vessels and growing.
|Thyroid medicine is often prescribed following papillary thyroid cancer treatment. Thyroid medications are designed to maintain a balanced level of thyroid hormones. Medicines are available to increase or decrease the body’s level of thyroid hormones depending on the patient’s needs.
What Can I Expect Following Papillary Thyroid Cancer Surgery?
The exact recovery time for papillary cancer surgery will depend on the nature of the cancer, as well as the individual patient. However, most patients can expect to be released from the hospital after 1-2 days. You may find that it is difficult to swallow following your surgery. As a result, you may be advised to follow a liquid diet for the first few days of recovery. Our thyroid surgeon will prescribe you pain medication to reduce discomfort. Calcium supplements may also be recommended to prevent hypocalcemia (lower-than-average calcium levels in the blood). It is important to let your body rest following papillary thyroid surgery; you should not engage in vigorous activities or exercise until cleared by Dr. Shin. Most thyroid surgery patients resume daily activities within 2-3 weeks. Specific guidelines and timetables can be discussed during your consultation.