Treatment Without Surgery:
The best way to treat thyroid cancer is with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy kills all cells in the body which are affected by the disease. There are different types of chemo drugs used for treating various forms of cancer. For example, if you have leukemia, then you will get chemotherapy drugs to kill off your white blood cells (leukemic cells).
These drugs cause damage to other parts of your body too such as bones and organs.
There are two main types of chemotherapy drugs used for treating thyroid cancer. They are called cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin. Cyclophosphamide is the drug that was first developed in 1942. Doxorubicin was discovered in 1962 and it’s been widely used since then.
Both drugs work by killing off certain kinds of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched.
Cyclophosphamide is the most common type of chemotherapy drug used for treating thyroid cancer. It works by destroying the thyroid gland itself. It destroys all cells within the thyroid gland including its cells, glands, and hormones. Cyclophosphamide can take up to three months before you start feeling any effects from it.
Once you begin experiencing these symptoms, you may need to stop taking cyclophosphamide immediately due to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, weakness and fatigue.
Doxorubicin is another kind of chemo drug that is used to treat thyroid cancer. It can cause damage to other organs within the body in the same way as chemotherapy drugs in general do. There are other types of chemo drugs also used for treating various kinds of cancer. These are designed to fight against cancer cells, but they also affect other types of healthy cells.
Sources & references used in this article:
Current approaches to primary therapy for papillary and follicular thyroid cancer by EL Mazzaferri, RT Kloos – The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology …, 2001 – academic.oup.com
Thyroid cancer: risk-stratified management and individualized therapy by F Raue, K Frank-Raue – 2016 – AACR
Clinical, safety, and economic evidence in radioactive iodine–refractory differentiated thyroid cancer: a systematic literature review by RT Anderson, JE Linnehan, V Tongbram, K Keating… – Thyroid, 2013 – liebertpub.com
Recurrence of papillary thyroid cancer after optimized surgery by CS Grant – Gland surgery, 2015 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Guidelines for radioiodine therapy of differentiated thyroid cancer by M Luster, SE Clarke, M Dietlein, M Lassmann… – … of nuclear medicine and …, 2008 – Springer