A Surgical oncologist has to face numerous type of cancer as part of the professional obligation and responsibilities. Of these, one of the fiercest types is Thyroid Cancer. This type of disease may initially appear as a lump at the cervical position that grows fast. Swelling or intensive pain in the neck that spreads up to ears is another symptom. Growth of such disease may be judged through breathing and swallowing problem and hoarseness in voice.
Choosing of options for treatment recommendations depend on several factors that include
- Type and stage
- All the side effects
- Preference of the patient
- Overall health situation of the ailing
There are guidelines that will guide the course of treatment. It can be hoped that the case is curable, as most of these cases do. Still, experts differ about the best course of actions. Patients are always encouraged to seek for a second opinion from best thyroid cancer doctor before commencement of treatment. Ensuring the comfort of patient about the treatment plan is also mandatory.
Surgery in Thyroid Malignancy
Surgical oncologist considers various surgical options for treating this sort of cancer. Lobectomy removes the gland’s lobe affected with cancerous nodule. The Near-total or subtotal thyroidectomy removes gland portion as required. And there is total thyroidectomy that is applied when the entire thyroid gland is required to be dissected.
The plans are applied according to suitability or need or a combination of both. Sometimes a neck dissection may also be opted to resist the spread in the lymph nodes. Thyroid cancer is frightened due to its capacity to affect parathyroid glands. These glands help in regulating blood calcium levels. Excessive bleeding or wound infections are also controlled with these glands. If any damage is caused to nerves of this gland, voice may be hoaxed permanently. The surgeon will opt for other course of thyroid cancer treatment when the tumor is not operable.
Differentiated small sized cancer that shows to sign of spreading beyond thyroid gland is treated by using this technique. The surgeon makes a cut a few inches across the front of the neck and thyroid is thus exposed. Then the lobe containing the cancer is removed along with some isthmus. Besides removal of cancer cells, the need of patients to take thyroid pills is also made void with such surgery.
This surgery aims to the removal of thyroid gland. It is also performed by making an incision across the front of the neck. If the surgeon fails to remove the entire gland, but nearly all glands are removed, it is called near-total thyroidectomy. If most of the gland is removed, the surgery becomes subtotal thyroidectomy. After such treatment, the patient will only be taking thyroid hormone pills. The most advantage of such surgery is that it will resist recurrence of the disease.
Lymph Node removal
This surgery method is applied when the cancer is spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. This is particularly implemented for treating medullar thyroid cancer and anaplastic cancer. All the enlarged nodes are removed and micro deposits of left-out cancer cells are treated with radioactive iodine. A special surgery is done by best thyroid cancer doctor for removal of several lymph nodes near the thyroid. This is called central compartment neck dissection. When more lymph nodes are removed, the surgical factor is termed as modified radical neck dissection.
Oncology is an ever evolving field of medicine and is matter of research and development. The author per say does not claim the following to be guidelines of practice in oncology. These are part of patient awareness initiative by Dr. Suvadip Chakrabarti MCh (Surgical Oncology), cancer doctor in Kolkata to educate people at large of various options in Oncology. It should not be taken to be practice guidelines.