Treatment for thyroid cancer

Your treatment depends on the type of thyroid cancer you have, how big it is and whether it's spread anywhere else in your body.

Common treatments for thyroid cancer are surgery and radioactive iodine. A team of doctors and other professionals discuss the best treatment and care for you.

Preparing for treatment and life afterwards (prehabilitation)

There are things you can do to help you feel more in control of your physical and mental health when preparing for treatment. In the hospital, preparing for treatment is also called prehabilitation or prehab.

Treatment options for thyroid cancer

The main treatment for thyroid cancer is surgery. Depending on your situation, you might also have a type of radiotherapy and sometimes targeted drugs or chemotherapy.

Surgery for thyroid cancer

There are different types of surgery for thyroid cancer. Surgery to remove your thyroid gland is called a thyroidectomy.  

Radiotherapy for thyroid cancer

Radiotherapy means the use of radiation, to treat cancer cells. You might have internal radiotherapy (radioactive iodine) or external radiotherapy for thyroid cancer. 

Targeted cancer drugs for thyroid cancer

Targeted cancer drugs target those differences that help a cancer to grow and survive. You might have these drugs for all types of thyroid cancer.

Chemotherapy for thyroid cancer

Chemotherapy isn't a common treatment for most types of thyroid cancer. You might have it for anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Follow up for thyroid cancer

Doctors will arrange for you to have tests and scans at regular follow up appointments.

Research and clinical trials for thyroid cancer

Researchers are looking at ways to improve the treatment for thyroid cancer.

Last reviewed: 
03 Jun 2021
Next review due: 
03 Jun 2024