New Tests Monitor Thyroid Cancer

Editor's Note: Contributing Editor Ricki Lewis was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1993 and had standard treatment. She will be taking a recently approved test this summer and hopes to participate in the clinical trial of another, both discussed below. Michael Levine When a lump in the neck turns out to be thyroid cancer, many doctors announce, "If you had to get cancer, this is the one to get." Fortunately, treatment is straightforward and effective, but follow-up testing can be uncomfort

Ricki Lewis
Jan 17, 1999

Focus on Cancer Research Editor's Note: Contributing Editor Ricki Lewis was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1993 and had standard treatment. She will be taking a recently approved test this summer and hopes to participate in the clinical trial of another, both discussed below.

Michael Levine
When a lump in the neck turns out to be thyroid cancer, many doctors announce, "If you had to get cancer, this is the one to get." Fortunately, treatment is straightforward and effective, but follow-up testing can be uncomfortable because it requires a hypothyroid state. Now two new tests promise to ease the lifelong monitoring necessary to detect recurrence and identify patients most likely to benefit from follow-up procedures.

Each year in the United States, about 20,000 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and 1,100 die of it. "This requires patients to be monitored at frequent intervals for the rest of their lives," says Michael Levine, a...