This information explains your thyroid cancer
treatment plan at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
Treatment for thyroid cancer
is based on many factors related to your tumor
. Your doctor will
develop a treatment plan that is right for you, and you will receive detailed information about your treatments.
Throughout your treatment, your care team may include a surgeon
, a nuclear medicine
doctor, and an endocrinologist. How often you come for visits, what testing you have, and who provides your care will all depend on your individual needs. These needs will change over time.
In most cases, you will first have surgery
to remove your tumor. After surgery, you may also have radioactive iodine therapy.
Early Follow-up Care
After your initial treatment, you will continue to see your surgeon, endocrinologist
, and nuclear medicine specialist. Over time, you will probably only need to see one of these specialists. You and your doctor will decide when that time is right for you.
Ongoing Follow-up Care
After this early follow-up
period, you may be eligible to join the Thyroid Cancer Survivorship
Program, located in the Endocrine Clinic at MSKCC. In the survivorship program, you will receive support as you recover from the physical and emotional effects of thyroid cancer and its treatments. Your doctor will help you decide when you are ready for this step.
A nurse practitioner
(NP), who is an expert in the care of cancer survivors, will be responsible for your care in the survivorship program. Your survivorship NP is a member of the Thyroid Cancer team at MSKCC and works closely with your doctors. He or she will see you for your follow-up visits, which will include physical examinations and tests to make sure your cancer has not returned. Your NP will also recommend other cancer screenings and discuss ways to prevent new health problems.
Transition to Community-based Care
As your needs decrease, your follow-up care may be transferred from MSKCC to an endocrinologist in your community. We will help you find an endocrinologist if you do not already have one. This often occurs about 2 to 5 years after treatment, but the timing will depend on your particular thyroid cancer and your response to treatment.
Your MSKCC doctor or survivorship NP
will send your local doctor a detailed summary of your care at MSKCC, as well as copies of your test results. This report will also include our recommendations for future care based on the treatment you received. Your MSKCC doctor or NP will continue to be available to you and your local doctor if you have any questions about your care, or if you develop a new thyroid problem.