2017: The year we Changed how we diagnose and treat thyroid cancer.
This year we will not diagnose thyroid cancer as often as in the past.11,000 of 65,000 cases in the past year are now called benign.
The thyroid surgery for cancer numbers will go down as seen in Korea. Another big change is the finding that small thyroid cancers found by imaging studies can be put under long term surveillance WITHOUT surgery. Studies following these microcancers for up to 22 years without surgery rarely need surgery in the future. A small increase in size on yearly examinations can trigger a surgery later without an increased risk. This is called Active Surveillance (AS). There is a registry to house your records for 50 years to allow future physicians to see your original ultrasound data. This fear of cancer can be less powerful when you know it is unlikely ever to be the cause of serious complications or death. The fear of surgery with it’s serious complications, prolonged recovery time,pain,fatigue, hospitalization, and possible radioiodine therapy after should make Active Surveillance the method of choice for these harmless cancers. Ask about this to treat your small thyroid cancer. Major Centers have programs for this. Santa Monica thyroid center has an approved AS program. 310-393-8860 ask for Matthew.