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Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
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Experience:  Experienced Oncology Physician trained in New York City. I'm ready to help.
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My husband is age 75 and just had his thyroid and 12 lymph

Customer Question

My husband is age 75 and just had his thyroid and 12 lymph nodes removed due to papillary thryoid cancer. Several nerves were also removed. Pathology showed the cancer was in the blood vessels. The tumor was large. He is recovering from surgery and waiting for an oncology and endocrinolgy referral. We know this type of cancer is slow growing. As we wait, we would like to know if he will survive this and how agressive we should be with treatment. He has had excellent health until now. Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 11 months ago.

Hi and thanks for the query.

Indeed, the papillary type of thyroid cancer is the most slow growing out of all the thyroid cancers and very common as well. Its spread is also mainly through the lymph nodes and not through the hematogenous route. The most aggressive treatment is surgical extirpation and that has been done, so you have already been through the hard part. In order to give a precise survival rate, the histopathology report and the investigations will have to be studied, but from what you have mentioned, it seems that the spread of the tumor was not extra nodal, that is it had not invaded any other structures or metastasized to any other organ. If that is the case, then the prognosis is good and 5 year mortality is over 90 percent. For now, you should let him recover from the surgery and wait for the oncologist to decide if he needs any adjuvant therapy.

Let me know if you have further questions.

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Wish you good health

Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 11 months ago.

Please do not forget to leave a positive rating by clicking on stars on top right corner.

Wish you good health

Expert:  Dr. David replied 11 months ago.

This is Dr. David

I am a cancer doctor

I am sorry about your husband.

large thyroid papillary thyroid cancers do have a good survival rate.

but they can be improved with additional radioactive I-131 iodine pill therapy.

thyroid cancers take up iodine to make thyroid hormone

low doses of radioactive iodine pill therapy can be taken up by any remaining thyroid cancer cells in the neck and anywhere in the body and can be killed by I-131

most likely that is what his endocrinologist and oncologist will recommend for him.

they will also give him thyroid hormone supplement pills at a higher dose to bring his TSH levels down to below 1.0 or less than 0.5 to help decrease chances of stimulating cancer cell growth in the body.

let me know if you have other questions.

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