Thyroid Cancer
New York Sinus & Thyroid Surgery Center – Edward J. Shin M.D.
New York Sinus & Thyroid Surgery Center – Edward J. Shin M.D.
Open Menu tel:646.943.7985
310 E. 14TH STREET 6TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10003

Thyroid Cancer Surgery NYC

Thyroid Tumors

Thyroid cancer surgery in NYC can remove cancerous growths or lumps of the thyroid gland. While there are thousands of new cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed each year, the vast majority of these thyroid cancers are slow-growing and can often be cured completely by thyroid cancer surgery in NYC. More advanced thyroid cancers may cause noticeable masses around the throat and discomfort while swallowing or speaking. However, many patients won’t exhibit any symptoms of thyroid cancer in its early stages. That’s why it is so important to have a thyroid cancer specialist examine your neck and throat for signs of lumps during your regular checkups. While nearly all of these lumps (called thyroid nodules) will be benign, about 5% of all thyroid nodules prove to be cancerous. It is extremely difficult to distinguish between a benign or cancerous lump without the help of a trained professional. Dr. Edward Shin can perform thyroid cancer surgery to remove the affected portions of the thyroid and halt the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

THYROID CANCER OVERVIEW
OCCURS WHEN THYROID CELLS DIVIDE & MULTIPLY AT AN ABNORMAL RATE
CHARACTERIZED BY LUMPS OR NODULES AROUND THE THROAT & NECK
MORE COMMON IN WOMEN & PATIENTS OVER 40+ YEARS OF AGE
6 DISTINCT TYPES OF THYROID CANCER; EACH WITH DIFFERENT PROGNOSIS
SCREENING TESTS & BIOPSIES ARE USED TO DIAGNOSE THYROID CANCER
EARLY DETECTION IS IMPORTANT WHEN TREATING THYROID CANCERS
THYROID CANCER MAY CAUSE DIFFICULTY SPEAKING, SWALLOWING, OR BREATHING
THYROID CANCER SURGERY IS RECOMMENDED IN MANY CASES
OTHER TREATMENTS INCLUDE RADIOACTIVE IODINE, EXTERNAL BEAM RADIATION THERAPY, & CHEMOTHERAPY
Thyroid Cancer Treatment

What Causes Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer occurs when thyroid cells grow and multiply uncontrollably, leading to the formation of a cancerous tumor. Follicular cells, C cells, and lymphocytes are examples of thyroid cells that can mutate and change, causing rapid growth and cancer formation.

The exact cause of thyroid cancer is not always known. However, there are many risk factors that may increase your chance of developing thyroid cancer throughout your lifetime, including:

CAUSES OF THYROID CANCER
Family history of thyroid cancer or thyroid disease
Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
Autoimmune disorders like Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Exposure to radiation
Gender (women are more prone)
Age (30 years or older)

How Is Thyroid Cancer Diagnosed?

Thyroid cancer is typically detected during a thorough physical examination. This includes a comprehensive medical history, as well as a series of screening tests to check for thyroid cancer. These screening tests may include blood tests, ultrasound monitoring, radioactive iodine scanning, and a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy.

SYMPTOMS OF THYROID CANCER

In the early stages of thyroid cancer, there are often no symptoms evident. In fact, most thyroid cancers are small and are first noticed by physicians during regular check-ups. Thyroid cancer presents itself as small, painless lumps in the neck. However, as thyroid tumors grow in size, they may begin to compress the trachea (windpipe) or esophagus (food pipe). Depending on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease, other symptoms may include nodules that can be felt or seen in the neck, a hoarse voice, swollen lymph nodes, and difficulty swallowing or breathing during later stages.

THYROID CANCER SYMPTOMS
LUMPS OR GROWTHS AROUND THE THROAT
TROUBLE SWALLOWING
DIFFICULTY BREATHING
SWELLING IN THE NECK
DISCOMFORT WHEN SPEAKING
PERSISTENT COUGH
PAIN IN THE LOWER FRONT OF THE NECK
HOARSENESS
SORE THROAT
CHRONIC FATIGUE OR WEAKNESS (USUALLY A SYMPTOM OF THYROID DISORDERS)
SUDDEN WEIGHT FLUCTUATIONS (MAY BE AN INDICATOR OF A THYROID CONDITION)
EARLY STAGES OF THYROID CANCER ARE OFTEN ASYMPTOMATIC

How Is A Biopsy Performed?

During your FNA biopsy, a tiny needle is inserted into the suspicious growth. A small sample of the mass is removed and sent to a laboratory for comprehensive testing to determine if the growth is cancerous. Results are typically available within a few days.

What Is The Prognosis For Thyroid Cancer?

In many cases, the prognosis is excellent, with 90% of all thyroid cancers able to be completely cured by surgery. However, individual outcomes will depend on a number of factors, including the type of cancer, the size of the tumor, the age of the patient, and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the neck or distant areas of the body. Dr. Shin will discuss your individual circumstances and answer any questions that you may have regarding your prognosis, as well as your thyroid cancer surgery and treatment options.

What Are The Different Types Of Thyroid Cancer?

There are 6 distinct types of thyroid cancer:

TYPES OF THYROID CANCER
Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Follicular Thyroid Cancer
Medullary Thyroid Cancer
Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid Lymphoma
Hurthle Cell Carcinoma
PAPILLARY THYROID CANCER
MOST COMMON (APPROXIMATELY 70% OF ALL THYROID CANCERS)
LEAST AGGRESSIVE FORM OF THYROID CANCER
VERY TREATABLE; THYROID CANCER SURGERY CAN USUALLY CURE COMPLETELY
MORE COMMON IN WOMEN 40+ YEARS OR OLDER
POST-SURGERY INCLUDES ONGOING MONITORING & THYROID MEDICATION
FOLLICULAR THYROID CANCER
2ND MOST COMMON (APPROXIMATELY 25% OF ALL THYROID CANCERS)
MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN PAPILLARY CANCER, BUT STILL VERY TREATABLE
THYROID CANCER SURGERY CAN USUALLY CURE COMPLETELY
MORE COMMON IN WOMEN 40+ YEARS OR OLDER
POST-SURGERY INCLUDES ONGOING MONITORING & THYROID MEDICATION
MEDULLARY THYROID CANCER
LESS COMMON
MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN PAPILLARY & FOLLICULAR CANCERS
CERTAIN TYPES CAN BE CURED BY SURGERY; PROGNOSIS DEPENDS ON TYPE, SIZE, & STAGE OF TUMOR
AFFECTS MEN & WOMEN EQUALLY; MORE COMMON IN PATIENTS 40+ YEARS OR OLDER
POST-SURGERY INCLUDES ONGOING MONITORING & OCCASIONALLY RADIATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY
ANAPLASTIC THYROID CANCER
VERY RARE
VERY AGGRESSIVE
SURGERY AT VERY EARLIEST STAGES ONLY; OFTEN INOPERABLE
MORE COMMON IN WOMEN 40+ YEARS OR OLDER
POST-SURGERY INCLUDES ONGOING MONITORING & POSSIBLY RADIATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY
THYROID LYMPHOMA
VERY RARE
VERY AGGRESSIVE
TREATED WITH RADIATION & CHEMOTHERAPY
MORE COMMON IN WOMEN 40+ YEARS OR OLDER
POST-TREATMENT INCLUDES ONGOING MONITORING & POSSIBLY THYROID MEDICATION
HURTHLE CELL CARCINOMA
VERY RARE
AGGRESSIVE
USUALLY TREATED WITH THYROID CANCER SURGERY
MORE COMMON IN WOMEN 50+ YEARS OR OLDER
POST-SURGERY INCLUDES ONGOING MONITORING & POSSIBLY RADIOACTIVE IODINE TREATMENT

What Are Some Common Thyroid Cancer Treatments?

Thyroid cancer treatment will depend on the type and stage of the cancer. In most cases, thyroid cancer surgery is the best initial treatment. Ongoing monitoring is needed to detect any return of cancer, and often, thyroid hormone medication is prescribed. In rare cases, radiation, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy may be indicated.

THYROID CANCER TREATMENTS
Thyroid Cancer Surgery
Surgery includes removing the entire thyroid (known as a full thyroidectomy). Our thyroid cancer surgeon can also remove any affected lymph nodes.
Radioactive Iodine (RAI)
Radioiodine can seek out cancerous thyroid cells and selectively destroy them. RAI is administered in liquid or pill form. The radioactive iodine is then absorbed by cancerous thyroid cells, effectively destroying them with minimal damage to surrounding tissue.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
This radiation treatment uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. A linear accelerator machine is used to target cancerous cells with minimal damage to healthy tissue. The patient lies flat while the machine passes over the affected area from multiple angles, delivering high-energy particles to the thyroid.
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy treats thyroid cancer through the use of anti-cancer medicines. These medications are taken orally or injected. Chemotherapy attacks cancer cells that multiply quickly. Chemo medicines may be used in conjunction with radiation when treating thyroid cancer.
Targeted Therapy
Targeted therapies also use anti-cancer medicines to treat thyroid cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, these medications target the proteins found in cancer cells that help them grow. Targeted therapy can also block cancer cells from forming new blood vessels in order to survive. Targeted therapy medicines are taken orally.
Thyroid Medication
Thyroid medications may be prescribed following thyroid cancer treatment to help maintain proper hormone levels. Certain thyroid medicines can increase the amount of thyroid hormones being produced, while antithyroid medication can reduce the amount of hormones being made by the thyroid.

What Can I Expect Following Thyroid Cancer Surgery In NYC?

Most patients tolerate thyroid cancer surgery very well. The individual recovery time will depend on many factors, including the age and overall health of the patient, the type and size of the tumor, and the extent of surgery necessary. In many cases, patients can expect to be discharged from the hospital in 1-2 days. It may be difficult to swallow, so a liquid diet may be recommended for the initial days of your recovery. Pain medication can be prescribed to alleviate discomfort. Patients may also be prescribed a calcium course to prevent hypocalcemia (low calcium levels in the blood). You should refrain from vigorous activities until permitted by our thyroid cancer surgeon. Many patients return to their normal activities 2-3 weeks after thyroid cancer removal. Dr. Shin will discuss your individual circumstances with you and answer any questions that you may have regarding your thyroid cancer surgery in NYC.

What Is Intra-Operative Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Monitoring?

The recurrent laryngeal nerve supplies motor function and sensation to the larynx (voice box). If the nerve is damaged or disturbed during thyroid cancer surgery, voice function can be affected. Intra-operative recurrent laryngeal nerve monitoring is an advanced technique that measures the electrical activity of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in order to monitor and preserve the nerve during thyroid cancer surgery. When the recurrent laryngeal nerve is successfully preserved, patients will have completely normal voice function after surgery in 99% of cases.

Treatment For Thyroid Cancer

Will I Need To Be On Medication After Thyroid Cancer Surgery?

While treatment will naturally depend on individual circumstances, most patients will benefit from using thyroid hormone medication on a permanent basis following thyroid cancer surgery. This medication can help balance and maintain proper hormone levels.

Will My Voice Be The Same After Thyroid Cancer Surgery In NYC?

Sometimes, the nerves that control the larynx (voice box) can be disturbed or damaged during thyroid cancer removal, resulting in a scratchy or hoarse-sounding voice. This condition is usually temporary, but on rare occasions, the damage can be permanent. The risk of this complication decreases in the hands of skilled and experienced thyroid cancer surgeons. And, while the risks can never be totally eliminated, Dr. Shin uses an advanced intra-operative nerve monitoring system that can further minimize the risks.

How Do I Learn More About Thyroid Cancer Surgery In NYC?

Our thyroid cancer surgeon in NYC would be happy to discuss thyroid cancer treatments in more detail with you. To schedule a consultation, please call 646.943.7985 or request an appointment online at our NYC office.

WHAT PATIENTS SAY ABOUT DR. SHIN

Edward J. Shin, M.D.

NEW YORK SINUS & THYROID SURGERY CENTER

310 E. 14TH STREET
6TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10003

646.943.7985

New York Eye & Ear Infirmary Of Mount Sinai

NEW YORK SINUS & THYROID SURGERY CENTER

310 E. 14TH STREET
6TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10003

646.943.7985