Docs welcome new guidelines on thyroid cancer treatment

Docs welcome new guidelines on thyroid cancer treatment
Highlights

New guidelines on thyroid cancer recommends low dose of radioactive iodine which would improve patient safety, ensure uniformity in treatment and cut recurrent hospitalisation costs

New guidelines on thyroid cancer recommends low dose of radioactive iodine which would improve patient safety, ensure uniformity in treatment and cut recurrent hospitalisation costs

People with thyroid cancer are often given radioactive iodine treatment following a surgery to kill cancer cells that may have been left behind, a treatment that comes with its own health risks. New recommendations say that a safer, lower dose of radioactive iodine is just as effective as the higher dose at getting rid of any such cells.

The new recommendations which will be published in the forthcoming ‘American Thyroid Association Guidelines, 2014’, will be followed by doctors across the world and is expected to cut recurrent hospitalisation costs.

As per the recommendation, low-dose (30 millicurie) radioactive iodine is enough for treatment of thyroid cancer after surgery against a current dose if 100-150 millicurie. Secondly, patients will be treated as per risk group i.e, low risk, intermediate risk and high risk basis chance of recurrence of cancer and chance of death. The third most important recommendation is compulsory usage of ultrasound and needle aspiration to be conducted on all patients before surgery.

City doctors welcome this step. As per Dr Zakir Ali, consultant and HOD of nuclear medicine and PET-CT, Indo-American Cancer Institute & Research Centre, Hyderabad, “The recommendation of low dose of radioactive iodine will be beneficial to patients having low risk thyroid cancer. It will help in bringing down the amount of radiation burden to the patient significantly. Moreover patients need not be admitted in isolation facilities as they can be treated on an outpatient basis, thus reducing the admission costs drastically.”

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