Thyroid Cancer Financial Road Map: What to Expect Along The Way From a Normal Person to One With Decisions to Make About the Cost of Thyroid Cancer Treatment.
With a little help the drive can be straight ahead.
However, there are many curves in the way to success in treating
- How to avoid bankruptcy.
- One major cause of bankruptcy is the multiple surgeries and repeated radioiodine treatments when it is not necessary.
- Ideally you should have one surgery that has been evaluated to see if there should be an extension to cover the lateral neck lymph nodes.
- This is done by a pre-surgery Endocrine neck ultrasound and Biopsy of suspicious lymph nodes and thyroglobulin TG needle washout.
- However, if no pre-op ultrasound was done or misssed the presence of cancer in the nodes then a second surgery is needed called a modified radical neck dissection.
- This is were you must pay close attention. If you have already had two surgeries one for the thyroid and one for the neck cancer lymph nodes you need to think hard about more expensive surgery.
- There are two non-surgical treatments that are outpatient and less costly than another $35-50,000 neck surgery.
- Ethanol Ablation PEI is a relatively cheap alternative in the USA.
- Radiofrequency ablation RFA still not available in the USA, is also a good alternative.
- Before they start to use radioiodine to treat your cancer, get outside opinion.Most well differentiated thyroid cancer is low risk and does not benefit from radiation treatment.
- We treated everyone with radioiodine until it was found to be worthless and even harmful.Only select patients with more advanced cancer get radioiodine today. Make sure you are not one of them.This is an expensive treatment that requires many studies and even more treatment and only helps moderate and high risk cancers.
- To protect from excessive complications during thyroid surgery, it is worth the time to see who in your area is a high volume thyroid surgeon.
- 85% of the totals done in this study done in the US were done by surgeons doing 1-5 cases a year.They had 55-68% more complications than high volume surgeons.
- Complications from thyroid surgery are costly. These add to the financial stress that accompanies chronic long term thyroid cancer surveillance.
- Pick the right surgeon and save money!
- The best way to stay on the right financial path is to get outside opinions before major decisions. Your insurance plan or doctors are not always looking out for your financial health in the long run.
- Call Matt at 310-393-8860 or [email protected] for an evaluation to see you are on the right road to recovery without bankruptcy in your future.
Richad Guttler MD,FACE,ECNU