Advanced thyroid cancer
Advanced thyroid cancer is thyroid cancer that has spread into the surrounding tissues or away from the original site (metastasised) and is less likely to be cured. It can often be treated to slow its growth and ongoing spread, sometimes for months or years. Treatment can also help reduce symptoms, such as pain.
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Most people with thyroid cancer respond well to treatment and do not need to access palliative care services. However, people at any stage of advanced thyroid cancer may benefit from palliative treatment.
Palliative treatment helps to improve people’s quality of life by managing symptoms of cancer without trying to cure the disease. The treatment you are offered will be tailored to your individual needs. It may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or other medicines.
Palliative treatment is one aspect of palliative care, in which a team of health professionals aim to meet your physical, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual needs. Palliative care also provides support to families and carers.
Video: What is palliative care?
A/Prof Diana Learoyd, Endocrinologist, Northern Cancer Institute, and Northern Clinical School, The University of Sydney, NSW; Dr Gabrielle Cehic, Nuclear Medicine Physician and Oncologist, South Australia Medical Imaging (SAMI), and Senior Staff Specialist, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, SA; Dr Kiernan Hughes, Endocrinologist, Northern Endocrine and St Vincents Hospital, NSW; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Dr Christine Lai, Senior Consultant Surgeon, Breast and Endocrine Surgical Unit, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Surgery, University of Adelaide, SA; A/Prof Nat Lenzo, Nuclear Physician and Specialist in Internal Medicine, Group Clinical Director, GenesisCare Theranostics, and The University of Western Australia, WA; Ilona Lillington, Clinical Nurse Consultant (Thyroid and Brachytherapy), Cancer Care Services, Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital, QLD; Jonathan Park, Consumer.
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The emotional impact of advanced cancer
First reactions and ongoing effects of an advanced cancer diagnosis
Making treatment decisions for advanced cancer
Weighing up the benefits and side effects of treatment
Caring for someone with advanced cancer
The emotional, physical and practical impacts for carers