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Thyroid cancer

The information on this page was reviewed and approved by
Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science at CTCA.

This page was updated on July 14, 2021.

Thyroid cancer is a complex disease. Get personalized care.

Thyroid cancer forms in the tissue of gland located at the front of the throat, below the cartilage known as the Adam’s apple. A relatively rare disease, thyroid cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all new cancer cases. It is three times more common in women than men, and most cases are diagnosed in adults younger than 55. The most common symptom is a lump, nodule or unusual swelling in the neck.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our cancer experts are trained and experienced in diagnosing, staging and treating all stages and types of thyroid cancer. You may undergo diagnostic procedures such as a biopsy, MRI, X-ray and lab tests, then we’ll use that information to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to you and your needs and preferences. Every patient’s treatment plan also includes a range of supportive care services, such as pain management and occupational therapy, to help manage the side effects of the disease and its treatment and support quality of life.

What you should know after a thyroid cancer diagnosis

Treatment options

female patient being assisted as she goes into an MRI scanner

The most common treatment for thyroid cancer is surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy also may be options in some circumstances, and hormone therapy may be given to help surgical patients maintain their metabolism. Kinase inhibitors are among the targeted therapy drugs used to treat some thyroid tumors. Your multidisciplinary team of thyroid cancer experts will answer your questions and recommend treatment options based on your unique diagnosis and needs.

Common treatments include:


A lobectomy, thyroidectomy and lymph node removal are among the surgical options used to treat this type of cancer.


Anti-cancer drugs may be administered to certain patients to make tumor cells more sensitive to external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).

Hormone therapy

Patients who have had most or all of their thyroid gland removed by surgery need to take daily hormone supplements in order to maintain their bodies’ normal metabolism.

Radiation therapy

EBRT is among several radiation approaches using targeted doses of radiation to kill tumor cells in the thyroid.

Targeted therapy

Among the drugs used in targeted therapy are so-called kinase inhibitors, which target specific enzymes called protein kinases that help regulate cell growth.

​Supportive care

Many common treatments for thyroid cancer, including surgery and radiation therapy, often cause side effects that may impact your quality of life, such as pain, malnutrition and neuropathy. We understand that supporting your quality of life is critical to your recovery. That’s why each CTCA® patient’s personalized treatment plan includes a range of supportive care services designed to help manage related side effects, reduce the risk of treatment delays and help the patient get back to life. Therapies for thyroid cancer patients may include:


​Pain management

Pain management is a branch of medicine focused on reducing pain and improving quality of life through an integrative approach to care.


​Nutritional support

Every patient has the option of meeting with a registered dietitian.


​Oncology rehabilitation

​Oncology rehabilitation includes a wide range of therapies designed to help you build strength and endurance.

Learn more
Shauna Luera

Shauna L.

Thyroid Cancer

"I got through cancer treatment with the support of my family and friends. CTCA became a second family to me—all the patients, caregivers, doctors and clinicians I met there. They say it takes a village to raise kids. Well, it takes an army to fight cancer. You can’t do it alone. It is a battle on every front. You need to have all available weapons along with soldiers supporting you."


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