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Thyroid Cancer

Asplundh Cancer Pavilion

Thyroid cancer is a cancerous growth of the thyroid gland (located at the base of your neck) and can occur in all ages. Although the majority of thyroid nodules (abnormal growths) are benign, about 5 to 10 percent of nodules contain cancer.

Otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat physicians) at the Asplundh Cancer Pavilion will carefully evaluate the mass or nodule. To appropriately diagnose the nodule, you may need to have the following:

  • A blood test to assess the function of your thyroid (TSH, T4, T3, thyroid antibodies)
  • Ultrasound or CT scan to detect any other nodules and their sizes as well as lymph nodes
  • A fine-needle aspiration biopsy to determine what types of cells are present in the thyroid gland and nodules
  • A radionuclide scan

If the nodule or mass is found to be cancerous, your otolaryngologist may recommend surgery to remove part or all of your thyroid gland. Occasionally, for large or more aggressive types of thyroid cancer, other treatments such as radioactive iodine, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy may be needed to treat the disease.

We provide personalized thyroid cancer care, using the latest technologies and approaches to achieve the best outcomes.

Our team includes highly experienced endocrinologists, surgical oncologists, otolaryngologists, nuclear medicine physicians, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists.

Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis

With the most up-to-date diagnostics for thyroid cancer, our testing services include: thyroid ultrasound; laryngoscopy; thyroid uptake and scan (nuclear medicine); and biopsy.

We also provide consultations (second opinions) for patients originally diagnosed elsewhere.

Thyroid Cancer Treatments

Our experts use the latest treatment approaches for thyroid cancer. Surgical removal of the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy) is often the primary treatment. Some lymph nodes also may be removed. Additional testing after surgery may include I-131 whole body scan and MRI, CT and PET scans.

After surgery, radioactive iodine treatment, a nuclear medicine therapy, eliminates any remaining thyroid tissue and helps prevent recurrence. Therapy doses are individualized for safety.

Radiation therapy may be used in combination with surgery and/or radioactive iodine, or on its own, to stop thyroid cancer growth. Less often, chemotherapy or targeted therapy may be given.

Fertility Preservation

Before starting any cancer treatment, talk with your oncologist about whether the therapy could affect your fertility. Our reproductive endocrinologists help with fertility preservation before cancer treatment or appropriate infertility treatment if cancer therapy has already been given.

Help Navigating Your Cancer Treatment

Whether you are newly diagnosed or in treatment, our cancer navigators provide help and support. The patient navigator for thyroid cancer, Jen Jacobs, RN, BSN, can be reached at 215-481-4470.

Honored for Cancer Expertise

The American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer awarded Abington's program the  Outstanding Achievement Award in 2012 and 2015, one of only eight programs nationwide to earn this award two survey cycles in a row.

CoC Outstanding Achievement Award 2012

CoC Outstanding Achievement Award 2015