What’s New in Thyroid Cancer Research?
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis Is on The Rise
In recent years, the chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has risen rapidly in the U.S. It appears that much of this increase is due to the use of thyroid ultrasound, which can detect not only large nodules but also small thyroid nodules which may have otherwise not been found. Some recent international studies suggest that these newly found and small thyroid cancers (known as micro-papillary thyroid cancers) may not need to be treated right away. Instead, they can be safely watched. Ongoing clinical trials in the U.S. are now discussing this same approach in regards to the micro-papillary cancers.
Effective Treatments for Thyroid Cancer
With the discovery of the genetic causes of inherited thyroid cancer, it is now possible to identify family members who carry the abnormal gene and remove their thyroid completely to prevent cancer from developing there. Meanwhile, more effective treatments for thyroid cancer that is not inherited has been discovered as well.
Thyroid cancer is often cured with surgery and/or radioactive iodine. While most thyroid cancers can be treated successfully, researchers are working to find new ways to treat thyroid cancer that is advanced or does not respond to radioactive iodine therapy.
Most thyroid cancers do not respond well to chemotherapy, but exciting new data is emerging regarding new targeted drugs. While chemotherapy drugs work by attacking any rapidly growing cell- cancerous or otherwise- these targeted drugs attack only specific targets on cancer-specific cells.
Have Your Thyroid Area Checked
It is important to have regular exams and have your ENT doctor check your thyroid area on the neck for any enlarged nodes. If you feel or see any enlarged lumps or bumps in your neck, make sure to call your doctor right away.
At ENT Specialists, we are proud to provide in-house extensive services to our patients for thyroid disorders. Our physicians are specially trained in fine-needle aspiration (FNA) so patients can have a biopsy right in our office and will not have to deal with separate office visits for a biopsy or a trip to the hospital for a biopsy.
Our services include a comprehensive workup of the thyroid, including any gland tumors that may exist, in-office ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of thyroid nodules, CT or MRI scans, treatment and management options, and surgery if needed.