Radioactive materials that are i njected into the body have characteristics of adhering to organs and that make it possible for a lot of oncological diseases to be diagnosed in Nuclear Medicine. Thyroid cancers are more often seen in women between the ages of 22-55 years. It is 4 times more common in women than in men.
According to Turkish Public Health Association's data, thyroid cancer takes second place after breast cancer among women, in recent years. Thyroid cancers generally appear as thyroid nodules. Sometimes they come out by chance during an unrelated examination. Thyroid cancer, though frequently seen, can be cured completely with appropriate treatment and follow up. There is almost no mortality risk.
How Are Thyroid Cancers Treated In Nuclear Medicine?
The first step in thyroid cancer treatment is surgical intervention.
It is applied in the safest surgical techniques that would give the best results, performed by specialist surgeons. The second step is "Radioactive Iodine Treatment" commonly known as "Atom Treatment".
Since tumors intensely absorb special radioactive substances, target specific treatment is applied with high dosage radioactive drugs. Remaining thyroid cells from the operation are targeted.
After necessary preparations and examinations to enable the thyroid gland keep the sufficient amount of iodine are done, it is orally administered to the patient in a single dose. The radioactive iodine given is taken up by thyroid cells. The radiation in the iodine then kills the cancer cells.
Patients who have had radioactive iodine therapy must stay in a leaded room for 2-3 days to avoid endangering others (especially small children and pregnant women).
For the continuity of patients' wellbeing, check ups and examinations are done, more frequently in the first years and less frequently afterwards, after therapy.
Rarely seen recurrences are detected early with these check ups and can be treated.
Methods In Thyroid Cancer Surgery
Safest surgical techniques that would give the best results for the patient are performed in thyroid cancer surgery
- Minimally invasive thyroid surgery. This is the least tissue damaging surgery.
- The removed nodule is examined in the operating room and operated according to findings.
- For voice preservation after surgery, a special device called neuromonitoring is used to observe and protect nerves to the voice cords during surgery
Thyroid cancers can be controlled with appropriate treatment and follow up. Mortality risk is almost nonexistant
Group Florence Nightingale Hospital's Health Magazine - Number : 5