What should I ask my doctor when diagnosed with thyroid cancer?

Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor: How can this disease be treated? What are my treatment choices? How successful is the treatment likely to be? Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me? What are the expected benefits of treatment? What are the risks and possible side effects of treatment? Will I have to change my normal activities? Can I keep working during treatment? How often will I need checkups? Your doctor is the best person to give advice about working or to answer questions...

What are the side effects of treatment for thyroid cancer?

The methods used to treat thyroid cancer are very powerful. That's why treatment often causes side effects. Fortunately, most side effects are temporary. After radioiodine therapy, some people get swelling of the salivary glands in the cheeks or neck.  This is a temporary effect and is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for a few days.  Also, sometimes people are taken off the thyroid hormone medication and made hypothyroid (low thyroid) before treatment.  Thi...

What are the treatment options for thyroid cancer?

Because of advances in diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer, a longer and better life is possible for patients today. Treatment planning takes into account the type of thyroid cancer and the stage of the disease as well as the general health and age of the patient.  Four types of treatments may be used: Surgery is the most common treatment for thyroid cancer.  The goal of the surgery is to completely remove the tumor and a safe margin of the tissue around it.  Depending on the outcome of the surgery, t...

How do you diagnose thyroid cancer?

The doctor will ask about your medical history and will do a careful physical exam, with special attention to feeling your thyroid and checking for lumps in the neck. You may also be asked to have a blood test or special scans. The best screening test for a thyroid nodule is a good examination of the neck by your primary care physician.  Most internists, family doctors and obstetricians/gynecologists perform examination of the neck during routine checkups, and nodules can often be found in this way. Sometim...

What are the causes and risk factors of thyroid cancer?

While doctors can seldom explain why one person gets thyroid cancer and another doesn't, we do know that the disease is not contagious; no one can "catch" thyroid cancer from another person. Scientists do not know exactly what causes this disease, but research does show that some people are more likely to develop it than others. Some types of thyroid cancer are inherited (run in families) and can be associated with other types of endocrine tumors. People that have a strong family history of thyroid cancer m...

What should I ask my doctor when diagnosed with endocrine cancer?

Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor: How can this disease be treated? What are my treatment choices? How successful is the treatment likely to be? Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me? What are the expected benefits of treatment? What are the risks and possible side effects of treatment? Will I have to change my normal activities? Can I keep working during treatment? How often will I need checkups? Your doctor is the best person to give advice about working or to answer questions...

What are the side effects of treatment for Endocrine Cancer?

The methods used to treat endocrine cancer are very powerful. That's why treatment often causes side effects. Fortunately, most side effects are temporary. The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the drugs given and the individual response of the patient. Chemotherapy commonly affects rapidly growing cells, such as blood cells that fight infection and cells that line the digestive tract. As a result, patients may have side effects such as lower resistance to infection, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiti...

What are the treatment options for endocrine cancer?

Because of advances in diagnosis and treatment of endocrine cancer, a longer and better life is possible for patients today. Treatment planning takes into account the size and location of the tumor, whether it is likely to grow slowly or rapidly, and the general health and age of the patient.  Four types of treatments may be used: Surgery is the most common treatment for endocrine cancer.  The goal of the surgery is to completely remove the tumor and a safe margin of the tissue around it.  Depending on the ...

How do you diagnose endocrine cancer?

The doctor will ask about your medical history and will do a careful physical exam. You most likely will be asked to give blood for hormone measurements, and you may also be asked to have an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI to enable the doctor to determine where the growth is located and whether it has spread. The only sure way to tell whether cancer is present is with a biopsy. The doctor removes a small sample of tumor tissue, which is examined under a microscope by a pathologist. If cancer cells are found, th...

What are the symptoms of endocrine cancer?

Because endocrine cancer can occur in glands in different parts of the body, the symptoms are different for different types. The most common symptom of thyroid cancer, which is by far the most common type of endocrine cancer, is a lump or swelling in the neck. Symptoms of other types vary widely. If you have symptoms that concern you, you should see your doctor.

What are the causes and risk factors of endocrine cancer?

While doctors can seldom explain why one person gets endocrine cancer and another doesn't, we do know that the disease is not contagious; no one can "catch" endocrine cancer from another person. Scientists do not know exactly what causes this disease, but research does show that some people are more likely to develop it than others. Some endocrine cancers are inherited (run in the family). If there is a strong family history of endocrine cancers of the same type – or of different types – you may also have a...

Surgery for Spine Tumors

Surgery is sometimes a treatment options for spine tumors. The type of surgery that your doctor recommends will depend on the type of tumor, the location, and the symptoms you are experiencing. If you have weakness, numbness of paralysis of arms and legs, change in bladder or bowel function, an open surgical procedure may be necessary. Closed Procedure: Vertebroplasty – a needle is injected with special cement into the vertebral body damaged by the tumor. Open Procedures: An open procedure can include some ...

Gamma Knife & Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a radiation therapy technique for treating brain tumors without surgery. A rigid head frame is used to help aim high-dose radiation beams directly at the tumors and not at normal brain tissue. One stereotactic radiosurgery technique is called a gamma knife. Gamma knife surgery, a form of medical technology used to treat people with neurological disorders, was developed in Sweden in 1967. It has gradually gained acceptance and become more widely available in the past 20 years, an...

What is chemotherapy ?

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancerous cells. Chemotherapy can be administered intravenously (in the vein) or by pill, and usually involves a combination of drugs. Chemotherapy treatments are often given in cycles: a treatment period, followed by a recovery period, followed by another treatment period. Chemotherapy may be given in a variety of settings including your home, a hospital outpatient facility, a physician's office or clinic, or in a hospital. Hospitalization may be necessary to monit...

What questions should I ask the doctor for Brain Cancer?

Here are some suggestions: What treatment do you recommend? Are there other methods of treatment? What are the benefits of the various treatment options? What are the risks? What are you prescribing, and what is it supposed to do? How should I expect to feel during treatment? What side effects, if any, can I expect from treatment? Should I bring someone with me for my treatments? Will the treatment or disease affect my ability to work, drive or care for my family? How often are the treatments and checkups?

What are the side effects of treatment?

Surgery may damage normal brain tissue, and edema may occur. Seizures, weakness, coordination problems, personality changes and difficulty in speaking or thinking may result. Most side effects of surgery lessen or disappear with time. Radiation may cause fatigue and hair loss, which may be temporary or permanent. Skin reaction in the treated area is common. The scalp and ears may be red, itchy or dark; these areas may feel and look sunburned. Patients should not use lotions without doctor advice. Sometimes ...

Clinical trials for Brain Cancer

Clinical trials are designed to determine whether a new approach is both safe and effective. Treatments that may be studied include: Radiation twice daily Hyperthermia, in which a tumor is heated to increase the effect of radiation Drugs injected into the artery leading to the brain or directly into the brain High-dose chemotherapy followed by bone marrow transplant Biological therapy, which is a treatment to improve the body's immune system to fight the cancer Molecular chemotherapy, or anticancer drugs ba...

Chemotherapy for Brain Cancer

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The doctor may use one drug or a combination. The medications may be given by mouth or by injection into a muscle or vein. Sometimes chemotherapy is given intrathecal, which is into cerebrospinal fluid. Chemotherapy is often given on an outpatient basis and is given in cycles – a treatment period followed by a rest period then another treatment – for several cycles.

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