Thyroid Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- Thyroid cancer facts*
- What is the thyroid?
- What is cancer?
- What are the different types of thyroid cancer?
- Thyroid cancer symptoms*
- How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?
- How is staging determined for thyroid cancer?
- What is the treatment for thyroid cancer?
- Thyroid hormone treatment
- Radioactive iodine therapy
- External radiation therapy
- Second opinion
- Follow-up care
- Sources of support
- Taking part in cancer research
- Thyroid Conditions Slideshow
- Take the Quiz on Thyroid Disorders
- Thyroid Medical Anatomy
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Chemotherapy is a treatment for medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancer. It's sometimes used to relieve symptoms of other thyroid cancers.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Most drugs for thyroid cancer are given directly into a vein (intravenously) through a thin needle, but a new drug for medullary thyroid cancer can be taken by mouth.
You may receive chemotherapy in a clinic, at the doctor's office, or at home. Some people need to stay in the hospital during treatment.
The side effects depend mainly on which drugs are given and how much. For drugs given directly into a vein, the most common side effects include mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and hair loss. For the drug given by mouth, side effects include diarrhea, high blood pressure, coughing, and a rash.
Your health care team can suggest ways to control many of these problems. Most go away when treatment ends.
You may want to read the NCI booklet Chemotherapy and You.
You may want to ask the doctor these questions before having chemotherapy:
- What is the goal of treatment?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of treatment? What can we do about them?
- When will treatment start? When will it end?
- How will treatment affect my normal activities?
Next: Second opinion
Get the latest treatment options.