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2 Your Health Question: Thyroid Cancer

When you hear a diagnosis of cancer, usually chemotherapy is the first treatment that comes to mind. A viewer wrote to us about a type of cancer for which chemotherapy is often not effective.

Thyroid cancer is fairly common, and often appears in a thyroid nodule, a mass in the lower front of the neck.

95 percent of the time when doctors biopsy these nodules, they are benign, but in some cases they are cancerous.

Surgery is the most common treatment. Doctors remove part or all of the thyroid.

Sometimes it can spread. It may travel to the blood stream and sometimes to the bones. This is very uncommon. When doctors find it has spread, doctors can treat the cancer in a unique way.

Dr. Patrick Ober is an endocrinologist at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Our initial approach from the beginning is to remove the thyroid gland, and then to give radioactive iodine. A lot of the time that radioactive iodine will go into the thyroid cancer cells wherever they may be. So sometimes that gives us a way to treat thyroid cancer in a way no other cancer can be treated. "

Learn more about thyroid cancer by clicking here.


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