Medullary thyroid cancer is commonly treated by one or a combination of treatments, including surgery, external-beam radiation therapy, specific treatment modalities for metastatic disease, and targeted therapy. The exact treatment you receive will depend on several factors, including the stage of your cancer at diagnosis, any other associated conditions, possible side effects, and your preferences and overall health.
Take time to learn about your treatment options and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear. Also, talk with your doctor about what you can expect while receiving treatment - you should be comfortable with your treatment plan before you start. Here you can download a checklist with questions you can use.
Checklist before starting therapy
You should discuss the following topics with your doctor before starting treatment:
- What kind of thyroid cancer do I have and what are my treatment options?
- Do my family members need to be tested?
- What is the best treatment option for me and why?
- Is thyroid surgery necessary?
- What are the risks of the operation?
- How much of my thyroid gland needs to be removed?
- Will I need thyroid hormone replacement therapy?
- Will I need radiotherapy?
- Will I need targeted therapy?
- What is the best way for my family to help me?
- Can you offer me psychological support if I want to?
"In 2000 a lump appeared in my neck. It caused no discomfort, but I couldn’t help noticing it time after time. So eventually I went to see my GP. "
Take time to learn about your treatment options and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear.