Thyroid cancer is a thyroid neoplasm that is malignant. It can be treated with radioactive iodine which is given after surgical resection of the thyroid gland (Thyroidectomy).
It has very good prognosis as compared to other malignancies. Patients can attend Disease free status and lead normal life.
Three times more common in females, this cancer is seen more in young females.
What are the symptoms of thyroid cancer?
In most cases, no signs or symptoms are seen in the early stages of thyroid cancer. Having one or more of the following symptoms does not necessarily mean that thyroid cancer is present, as other conditions can cause similar symptoms. However, one or more of the following might occur as thyroid cancer grows:
- Lump in the neck
- Pain in the lower front part of the neck
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck
How is Thyroid Cancer Diagnosed ?
One or more of the following tests help to determine if cancer is present.
- Physical exam. A physical exam to check for lumps or swelling in the neck, enlargement of the thyroid (goiter), and complete clinical examination.
- Blood tests. Blood tests check for levels of hormones released by other organs in the body. An elevated level of one hormone in particular, calcitonin, is a sign of thyroid cancer.
- Thyroid scan. With this scan, a special camera and radioactive 99mTechnetium injected , produce an image of the thyroid on a computer screen. This test is not ordered frequently since it is only useful in certain circumstances.
- Other scans/imaging tests (Sonography, radioiodine scan, PET scan, MRI). These tests use various methods to determine location, size, and spread of thyroid cancer. Methods include x-rays, injection of dyes or radioactive substances in a vein, radio waves, and a magnet.
- Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy. During this procedure, a thin needle is inserted through the skin and into the thyroid gland and/or nodules. A sample of cells is removed and checked for cancer. Generally done with sonography.
- Ultrasound of the thyroid. This test determines the size of the lump on the thyroid. It is also used to guide a FNA biopsy.
- Surgical biopsy. Since individual nodules cannot be removed, this involves taking out either one thyroid lobe (one side) or the whole thyroid.
How to Prepare?
- While you are inside the ISOLATION ROOM Keep the room cool all the time with A/C. Please take plenty of fluids (water, juices, soft drinks, milk etc), generally you are supposed to take 2-3 liters of total fluids in a day. Pass urine as frequently as possible. This throws out the unused Radioactive iodine from the body and reduces the radiation exposure of normal public.The oral High Dose of Radioiodine gives gastritis and this gives temporary symptoms of nausea and burning sensation.
- You will be given Antacid and Antiemetic tablets so that these symptoms don’t bother you. Some Radioiodine goes in the Salivary glands and if carry some sweet n sour candies with you, that can help excess salivation and drain iodine into the mouth and into the stomach. As you are already Hypothyroid, you feel lethargic, don’t feel like eating, constipated many times. That is expected and will be only temporary, till you are put back on Hormone replacement immediately after discharge.
Facilities available in the department are as follows:
- The Isolation Room facility available with us is one most sophisticated. You will feel very homely, comfortable and not isolated at all. You will provided with a very comfortable ambience of Deluxe class room, with air-conditioning, cable TV, medium sized refrigerator, a mineral water dispenser which can give cold and hot water. You will provided with morning tea and breakfast
- Lunch, dinner & High tea also will served to you, and you can inform the dietician the special needs of yours, in case you have any. You can get veg and non-veg food, special diets like diabetic, liquids only etc. also in case you other associated medical problems.
Kindly make a point to let nurses counter or the attendant know about that well in advance, as once the High Radio-iodine is given, you direct interaction with these staff will reduce significantly, however you can still talk to them over the intercoms.The isolation room is equipped with all life support systems, such as online oxgen, suction and pressure air, in case of emergency. The bed-ridden patients can be remotely monitored from the adjacent ICU nursing station through a CCTV monitoring system with PAN n ZOOM facility at the Nursing end.As per the Regulatory Body’s Guidelines, the person who needs assistance for going to toilet, getting up in the bed, doing day to day activities such as having food etc., one of the relative is trained by our staff to attend to the patient’s needs. However NOBODY IS PERMITTED TO STAY INSIDE THE ROOM.
Thyroid Cancer Treatment