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Surgery is the primary form of treatment for follicular thyroid cancer. In fact, a single procedure may be all that is necessary to remove the cancer. Prior to the cancer surgery, a minor procedure (laryngoscopy) may be performed to determine if tumors are affecting the vocal cords and to help identify the best course of treatment.

Types of surgical treatment for follicular thyroid cancer

Each patient requires individualized surgical treatment based on the size, type and specific location of his or her follicular thyroid cancer. Typically, one of two general surgical approaches is taken:

  • Thyroid lobectomy – Removal of a small portion of the thyroid gland (this procedure may also be used to confirm a cancer diagnosis)
  • Total thyroidectomy – Removal of the entire thyroid gland

The majority of patients with follicular thyroid cancer receive a total thyroidectomy. Even though the entire thyroid gland is removed – a significant procedure – advances in thyroid cancer surgery have dramatically reduced the invasiveness and improved the success rate of the treatment. Follicular thyroid cancer less frequently spreads to surrounding lymph nodes, so surgery to remove lymph nodes is often unnecessary.

Follicular thyroid cancer surgery at Moffitt Cancer Center

It is important to choose a cancer surgeon who has specialized expertise and ample experience in performing thyroid procedures, as this gland is surrounded by vital and delicate structures like the vocal nerves and windpipe. Moffitt Cancer Center’s Thyroid Clinic is led by a multispecialty team that includes head and neck surgeons who focus exclusively on treating thyroid diseases and work closely with our patients to ensure an optimal course of treatment. And, because Moffitt is a high-volume cancer center, our surgeons possess a unique level of experience in addressing even the most complex thyroid malignancies – experience that can make all the difference in achieving a positive outcome and improved quality of life.

Individuals who would like to consult a Moffitt oncologist about follicular thyroid cancer surgery can do so with or without a referral – call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.