Thyroid Cancer 101: Why you need a complete neck evaluation before the cancer surgery to prevent persistent disease post surgery.
- 20 % of thyroid cancer patients have disease events after the original treatment.
- These are either persistent disease left behind after the initial therapy.
- Persistent disease could be due to inadequate initial evaluation with missed cancer lymph nodes or due to a more aggressive cancer
- Recurrent disease is found later.
- To prevent cancer left in lymph nodes after the surgery a detailed endocrine neck ultrasound with level II-VII neck areas should be done before the surgery. 30% will harbor cancer lymph nodes that could be treated with the first surgery by adding a neck dissection to the thyroidectomy.
- Endocrine neck Ultrasound of the neck areas listed.
- Relapse after being 12 months disease free is a different problem. This has a better prognosis than persistent disease.
- Endocrine evaluation at one year can usually find persistent disease.
- Call me for an evaluation before the surgery
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