It’s frightening to learn you have a thyroid nodule, but it doesn’t necessarily imply you have cancer. Only approximately ten percent of thyroid nodules are cancerous. However, if thyroid cancer has been confirmed, you’re probably worried about the next stages, which almost invariably involve surgery. Dr. Suvadip Chakrabarti, a famous oncologist in Kolkata, discusses what to consider prior to having thyroid cancer surgery.

Obtain a correct diagnosis

Before considering surgery, make sure you’re comfortable with the evaluation of your thyroid nodule. Many people do not require surgery because most nodules are not malignant.

Thyroid cancer can be classified into four categories. Papillary and follicular thyroid cancers account for nearly 95% of the thyroid cancers. The prognosis for patients with these malignancies is usually favourable. Medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancers, which are more aggressive and may need more extensive therapy, make up the remaining 5%.

Discuss with your doctor and research your options before immediate surgery

There has been a lot of research done on how to monitor low-risk thyroid tumours without surgery, especially when removing the tumour surgically could cause more harm than good. Active surveillance is a monitoring method that does not require surgical intervention.

To be eligible for active surveillance, the tumour must be between 1 and 1.5 cm in diameter, there must be no indication of lymph node metastases, there must be no indications of more aggressive types like tall cell or sclerosing variant of papillary thyroid cancer, and the tumour must not be near a vulnerable location where growth could affect important structures like the trachea or inferior laryngeal nerve.

Surgical intervention is advised if the nodule grows significantly (more than or equal to 3mm), if there are indications of lymph node involvement, if the lesion extends into surrounding structures, or if the patient’s preferences change while on monitoring. Excellent prognosis has been observed for thyroid cancer surgical treatment performed as the disease progresses.

After discussing the risks and benefits depending on each patient’s individual circumstances, the choice to undertake active surveillance is made jointly by the patient and the doctor.

Thyroid cancer surgery types

Your doctor’s recommendation for surgery will be based on a risk assessment that takes into account the tumour’s nature, size, and location.

A lobectomy is the most basic thyroid tumour surgery. The thyroid gland is removed in half during this treatment. A total thyroidectomy (removal of the entire thyroid gland) is recommended when a thyroid tumour is more prone to spread.

If the cancer has advanced well beyond the thyroid gland to nearby lymph nodes, a relatively major surgery to remove these lymph nodes may well be required.

Thyroid cancers can spread to other vital tissues in the neck in rare situations, necessitating more complicated operations best handled by the best thyroid cancer surgeon in Kolkata.

The prognosis of thyroid cancer surgery differs from one patient to another

Each patient’s recovery is unique. Most people take one or two weeks off work to recover, but they are able to speak and eat within a few hours of surgery. After thyroid cancer surgery, all patients will have a small scar.