Read Time: 3 minutes
Author: Jason P. Hunt, MD
Dear Patients, Families and Their Loved Ones,
We know thyroid cancer can affect your life. Every year more than 40,000 people are diagnosed with it. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can have many effects on your life; none of which are inconsequential. It is our goal to support every patient and craft the best possible treatment plan. Most patients with a confirmed diagnosis are able to survive their battle with thyroid cancer. That being said, the road forward is not an easy one and will require commitment, as well as perseverance as you navigate the stresses that will come your way. We understand the significance of the recommended treatments and the effects they will have on your body and day-to-day life. For many, the best possible pathway to reach the best outcome will require the removal of the thyroid in its entirety. The surgery that is needed to remove cancer can put your ability to talk or breathe at risk. Additionally, patients may be required to undergo radioactive iodine treatment to further ensure the cancer will remain gone. Even after the cancer has been removed there will be additional treatments and appointments to check for recurrence of cancer.
While there is much work to be done, we are proud that more patients can receive treatment than ever before. We enthusiastically join you as we work toward a cure for thyroid cancer.Jason P. Hunt, MD
Please know that we will be with you along the way as we do everything possible to support you through this. Every year we continue to learn more about the nature of thyroid cancer and we evolve our treatment plans to reflect the latest research and available innovations. The last decade has provided a vast increase in the knowledge that helps us toward higher success rates with treatment. There are a multitude of factors that contribute to success. Our understanding of genetics has been critical in our comprehension of how to build a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Recent discoveries have enabled us, in some cases, to be able to leave a portion of the thyroid gland intact. Being able to retain a portion of the thyroid allows for select patients to avoid thyroid hormone replacement. These discoveries have also allowed us to better understand which patients will benefit from the use of radioactive iodine treatment and thus we have been able to avoid the risk of this treatment for many patients. Even more, we are now able to treat some of the most aggressive thyroid cancers, like anaplastic thyroid cancer, that historically were considered virtually incurable. All of these discoveries are leading to improved outcomes and fewer side effects from the treatment of thyroid cancer. These, and other discoveries, continue to give hope to many.
Progress is happening every day in our pursuit to treat and cure thyroid cancer here at Huntsman Cancer Institute. While there is much work to be done, we are proud that more patients can receive treatment than ever before. We enthusiastically join you as we work toward a cure for thyroid cancer.