Surviving Thyroid Cancer
Surviving thyroid cancer – Thyroid cancer often becomes a disease that continues for years. Living with thyroid cancer can become a big challenge for a patient if you lose hope hen diagnosed or while you are undergoing treatment.
Thyroid cancer is not a common form of cancer and is treatable with surgery and radiation therapy. The survival rate for individuals with thyroid cancer is excellent in comparison with other cancer forms.
After-care: Surviving Thyroid Cancer
Your doctor will ask you for periodic follow-up examinations, as the thyroid cancer can return.
These follow-up checks include the following.
- Medical examinations, especially of the neck area.
- Neck ultrasound is carried out in each visit to visualise the inside of the neck and look for nodules, lumps or cancerous lymph nodes to see if cancer is recurring.
- Blood tests for those who have undergone thyroidectomy, as they may require thyroid hormone replacement with levothyroxine once the thyroid is removed.
- A dose of levothyroxine, if the to suppress thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
- Measurement of thyroglobulin, a protein produced by thyroid tissue.
- A wholebody iodine scan to identify if any thyroid cells remain.
Prognosis of Thyroid Cancer
- The survival rate for individuals younger than 45 years is excellent, almost 100 per cent. Patients with small cancer tumours or those with papillary thyroid cancer who have a primary tumour confined within thyroid, have an excellent survival rate.
- Owing to the high risk of cancer tumour recurrence and more aggressive cancer tumours in patients over 45 years of age, the prognosis is not very good.
- There are chances that patients might not live long and continue to feel well if cancer cells are not removed completely with surgery or with radioactive iodine treatment. In this case, they have to maintain responsive communication with doctor about their cancer profile and monitoring their condition further.
Lifestyle Modifications to Survive Thyroid Cancer
Apart from the follow-up plan, making positive lifestyle modification is very important both during and post-treatment. Individuals recovering from thyroid cancer are advised to adhere to certain guidelines for a healthy lifestyle, such as giving utmost priority to physical fitness, staying on a well-balanced diet plan, and abstaining smoking . Following these guidelines help minimise after effects of thyroid cancer treatment, which include weight gain, depression and exhaustion.
Lifestyle modifications in diet help to regain strength and energy level, thus, having it planned as per needs and physical abilities is best for patients surviving thyroid cancer. Make sure that before engaging in any fitness activity and planning a diet chart for yourself, talk with your doctor to avoid unnecessary complications.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Oct 15, 2012
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