Opinion

It’s time to address the overtreatment of thyroid cancer

5 Comments
  • Dan M. says:

    Wow that sounds like a terrible experience you went though. The first rule of medicine is to do no harm, in our volume based one size fits all healthcare system, our doctors could stand to be reminded of that.

  • Rita Banach says:

    Okay, sounds great if indeed one’s tumour is a NIFT-P. On the other hand, a recent study from Sloan-Kettering found the incidence rates of large thyroid cancer tumors (>6 cm) and distant metastasis have not changed since 1975, despite the increase in so-called ‘incidentalnomas’ and supposed indolent sub-1cm tumours. When stratified by tumor size and stage, no changes in survival outcomes were observed. US thyroid cancer mortality rates have remained stable (1975-2009). In other words, thyroid cancer still does kill, although in relatively small numbers proportionally. And thyroid cancer can be very aggressive no matter the size of the primary tumour. Until molecular testing advances to identify which tumours are for-sure the aggressive ones, and which the indolent ones, patients should be made aware of the risks — including the trend towards not including neck checks in physical examinations, and ‘watchful waiting’ of small nodules.

  • Robin Willis says:

    Great Insight on Thyroid dysfunction; My intuition was to leave my thyroid gland alone but with the aggressiveness of the Physicians I agreed to have a total thyroidectomy. It’s been since 2007 I’m so sorry that I had the surgery, especially after reading this article. The synthyroid medication continues to be the standard treatment which has its issues, it does not work for the vast majority of us.
    At this time, I’m going to begin taking Amour ( dessicated thyroid) as a hormone replacement.

  • Claudine says:

    Thank you for a well written, and important article to read – informative and necessary knowledge for our health and well being!

  • Suzanne Handman says:

    Well written and informative article!

Author

Renée Pellerin

Contributor

Renée Pellerin is a former CBC health journalist currently working on a book about the history and politics of breast cancer screening.

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