How do you treat low-risk thyroid cancer?

  • Patients with low-risk thyroid cancer or findings suspicious for low-risk cancer often have more than one treatment option, but not always. Choosing the best treatment option for you is important.
  • The available treatment options depend on the size of the thyroid nodule and many other factors like family history, presence of other nodules, thyroid function, history of radiation, age, and sex. These are just some of the factors that affect the treatment option.
  • In general, patients can have surgery with removal of the entire thyroid (total or near-total thyroidectomy) or part of the thyroid (also called lobectomy, hemi-thyroidectomy, or partial thyroidectomy).
  • Select patients also have the option of “active surveillance”. Active surveillance is when the healthcare team closely monitors the cancer over time and advises treatment if it becomes necessary.
  • Some patients also have lymph node removal (sometimes called a central neck dissection).