When it comes to thyroid cancers, cancers arising from the cells in the basic structure of the thyroid come to mind. There are four types of thyroid cancer and two types are most common; “papillary” and “follicular” thyroid cancers.
Thyroid cancer is a type that is not seen very often and it is a disease that generally progresses very well compared to other cancers. The first step after detecting thyroid cancer is surgery. After surgery, treatment is continued with radiation therapy and hormone drugs. In thyroid cancer surgery, if cancer has spread to the lymph node, most likely, the entire thyroid gland is removed. If it has spread to the lymphs, lymphs can also be removed. It is generally preferred to remove the entire thyroid gland. This method is the most preferred treatment because it reduces the risk of recurrence of the disease, enables radioactive treatment, and facilitates the control of the disease by physicians. Radioactive Iodine Treatment begins six weeks after the surgical operation. In order to eliminate the remaining thyroid tissue and the possibility of cancer spread after surgery, high dose radioactive iodine is given to patients with thyroid cancer detected.
This treatment can only be given in centers with specially equipped treatment rooms. Such special chambers are needed to prevent radioactivity from being transmitted to the environment through the patients receiving treatment. As long as patients stay in this room, they can continue their normal life. The amount of radioactivity in the body of patients is measured every day. Patients can go home if they have reached a level that does not prevent them from being discharged. However, they should be cautious about a week in their homes and they should organize their lives by following the necessary precautions. Patients are called for control periodically, a follow-up method is planned according to the results of the examinations. All patients whose thyroid glands are destroyed by surgical and radioactive iodine treatment take thyroid hormone, which is the regulator of vital functions in our body, in pill throughout their lives. A multidisciplinary approach (involving more than one medical branch) is required for accurate diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of thyroid diseases. Therefore, patients are primarily handled by an endocrinologist.