Thyroid Cancer Chemotherapy
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Chemotherapy for Thyroid Cancer
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. These drugs usually target rapidly dividing cells. They may be delivered intravenously, by injection or by mouth. They then travel through your bloodstream to attack cancer cells throughout your body, and for this reason your care team may also refer to chemotherapy as systemic therapy. Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles, to allow your body time to recover between treatments.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), chemotherapy is generally reserved for patients with metastatic disease that has spread to distant parts of the body. In general, chemotherapy is not as effective for thyroid cancers as it is for some other types of cancer, but it may sometimes be used to sensitize anaplastic thyroid cancers to external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).
It may also be used for other advanced cancers after other treatments have been tried. If chemotherapy may be an option for you, your care team at CTCA will work together to select the right type of chemotherapy and to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Managing the Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Patients receiving chemotherapy for thyroid cancer are often worried about the unpleasant side effects associated with treatment, such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hair loss and mouth sores.
Your care team at CTCA proactively uses treatment approaches that can reduce or moderate these side effects. Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to reduce nausea and vomiting, or to help maintain blood counts. Additionally, your dietitian and other members of your team will work with you to find the right combination of natural therapies to prevent or alleviate these side effects.
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