Surgery is the primary form of treatment for medullary thyroid cancer, an uncommon disease that develops in the neuroendocrine parafollicular cells and accounts for about 1 to 2% of all thyroid cancers. In some cases, one surgery is all that is required to treat medullary thyroid cancer.
What are my surgical treatment options?
Most patients with medullary thyroid cancer receive a total thyroidectomy. This procedure involves removing the entire thyroid through an incision at the base of the neck. A small scar will be present at the incision site, but it will become less noticeable overtime.
A total thyroidectomy may also involve removing surrounding lymph nodes in the chest and neck. Even if the cancer has not spread to these lymph nodes, removal may be recommended as a preventive measure. Following thyroidectomy surgery, hormone replacement therapy with levothyroxine pills is necessary to restore thyroid hormone production and preserve metabolic function.
Our approach to medullary thyroid cancer surgery
Moffitt Cancer Center’s Thyroid Clinic provides the latest options in treatment to patients with medullary thyroid cancer. Additionally, Moffitt’s status as a high-volume cancer center means our head and neck surgeons possess a unique level of experience performing highly complex thyroid cancer procedures. It is this experience combined with Moffitt’s multispecialty approach to treatment and individualized care that allows our patients to achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life from diagnosis through survivorship.
If you would like to consult a Moffitt oncologist about a medullary thyroid cancer diagnosis or your potential treatment options, submit a new patient registration form or call 1-888-663-3488. We welcome patients with or without referrals.