Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are hormones used as part of thyroid cancer treatment?"
How else is this cancer treated? This is for my mom she was just diagnosed.
First of all, I am sorry to hear that your mother is dealing with a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is always a difficult thing, and your mother will require the support of you and the rest of her family. Undoubtedly you will have a lot of questions at first; it is best to write these down so you do not forget them and then bring the list of questions to your mother's cancer appointments to have them answered. Following the biopsy and determining what type of thyroid cancer your mother has, her cancer doctor will recommend treatment. Most types of thyroid cancer are usually treated first with surgery to remove the thyroid gland as well as to look for any potential metastasis (spreading of the cancer outside of the gland), for example into lymph nodes. Following surgery, it is typical to use an adjunct therapy to try to kill off any remaining cancer cells; the most common type of adjunct therapy is radioactive iodine, which preferentially targets thyroid cells. Following this, hormone therapy with thyroid hormone is almost always indicated; taking thyroid hormone pills keeps the spread of thyroid cells suppressed and is important for preventing recurrence of the cancer. Talk to your mother's cancer doctor if you have more questions!