Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer and the treatments used to cure the disease have been in the news quite a bit lately. The first story is from a woman treated for thyroid cancer in 1994.  “In 1994, my entire thyroid was removed because of a single, small tumour. Then I was dosed with radioactive iodine. Aggressive treatment for my kind of cancer has been standard for decades.”

Here are her comments on how her thyroid cancer was treated; “When I was diagnosed, doctors already knew that this kind of tumor, once removed, was rarely a threat. Yet, to be on the safe side, they removed the entire gland. And to kill any lingering thyroid cells left behind, they asked patients to swallow radioactive iodine. I was isolated in a hospital room for three days, so radioactive, that no one could come near me.’

But earlier this year, an international panel of experts called for a paradigm shift in thyroid cancer diagnosis, in order to spare many thousands of people, like me, the unnecessary loss of a vital organ. A certain type of non-invasive nodule, accounting for about 20% of all thyroid cancers, will no longer be labelled carcinoma if the recommendation is heeded.

Read her full story here and her opinion on how thyroid cancer treatments should be modified.

It’s time to address the overtreatment of thyroid cancer


A team of chemists at Stanford University has developed a new technique to detect cancers and other diseases.

It is presumably thousands of times more sensitive than current methods in laboratory experiments.

The chemists said in San Francisco on Thursday that doctors may look for antibodies or related bio-markers out of the blood as the body’s immune system mounts a response to disease attacking the body.

This is pretty cool although a litte difficult to understand. You can read the full story here:

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