Clinical Trials and Targeted Therapy

Clinical Trials and Targeted Therapy

Patients considering enrollment in a clinical trial should read the list of conditions below from the National Cancer Institute. They can also call the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) and ask for a customized search of the PDQ database, which provides information on current studies. From the National Cancer Institute, National…

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Cancer Survivorship and Long-term Follow-up

adult woman with wavy purple hair

Cancer Survivorship and Long-term follow-up There are currently more than 800,000 thyroid cancer survivors in the United States. The issues that develop during survivorship (which starts at the time of diagnosis) can be multiple, and have been under-addressed for decades. These needs generally fall into the categories of informational, practical, and emotional / psychosocial realms.…

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Radioactive Iodine

Iodine pill and bottle

What is Radioactive Iodine (RAI)? RAI (I131) is a radioactive form of the more common iodine that can be found in foods (especially shellfish). Thyroid cells take up iodine much more than any other cell in the body in order to make thyroid hormone. When RAI is taken up by the thyroid, the radioactive iodine…

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Obtaining a Second Opinion

Second Opinion

Should I get a second opinion? How do I find one? Obtaining a second opinion is a personal choice. If you feel uncomfortable with the advice you have received from one surgeon and wish to have another expert opinion, it is certainly your right to do so. You should be confident in your treating physician…

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Recovery After Thyroid Surgery

Recovery Photo

There is not much pain involved with thyroid surgery. Most patients will experience excellent pain control using over the counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)  or ibuprofen to control their discomfort. Rarely is narcotic pain medication (such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine) required, and usually this is in the immediate post-operative period in the recovery room. After surgery,…

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The Importance of Finding an Experienced Thyroid Surgeon

Research has proven that the chance of having a safe and successful thyroid surgery depends on the experience of the surgeon. In general, a surgeon should do at least 30 thyroid operations a year to be minimize the chances of surgical complications. Patients should not be shy or embarrassed to ask how many thyroid operations…

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Complications from Thyroid Surgery

Surgery to remove the thyroid gland is well tolerated and has low complication rates when performed by an experienced thyroid surgeon. In general, thyroid surgery is very safe and has a low risk of major complications. Your surgeon will discuss the risks of your specific thyroid operation with you in detail, and you will have…

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Lymph Node Biopsy or Dissection

Colposcope

Will lymph nodes be sampled during my thyroid operation? Lymph nodes are small glands throughout your body that collect any fluid, infection, or cancer cells. Each group of nodes is responsible for a particular body part. For example, groin lymph nodes are responsible for the legs and axillary (armpit) lymph nodes are responsible for the…

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Frozen Section

Scientist in a laboratory with microscope

Will a biopsy (Frozen Section) be done in the operating room to look at the tumor? The number of frozen sections done during an operation has decreased significantly over the last decade. The first reason for this is the improved ability to diagnose papillary thyroid cancer and benign (non-cancerous) lesions pre-operatively. Secondly, it is known…

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Anesthesia for Thyroid Surgery

Anesthesia

Thyroid surgery is most commonly performed using general anesthesia. With general anesthesia, a breathing tube is placed into the trachea (airway) once you have been drifted off to sleep with IV medications. You are asleep for the entire operation. When needed, this also allows for the recurrent laryngeal nerves (responsible for vocal cord motion) and other nerves…

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