Thyroid Cancer

At Alaska Center for Ear, Nose and Throat in Anchorage, we often see patients with thyroid nodules, and in most cases they are not cancerous. Both benign nodules and thyroid cancer are being diagnosed more frequently due to the increasing number of patients that get CT scans and imaging studies. Our board-certified ENT specialists perform surgery to remove thyroid cancer, visible non-cancerous masses, and benign nodules that cause difficulty breathing or swallowing.

To meet with one of our ENT specialists for thyroid evaluation, request a consultation online to meet with one of our specialists, or call our office at (907) 279-8800 to schedule an appointment. For our Homer and surrounding patients, please call (907) 235-0310.

Our highly-trained providers look forward to meeting you and answering all of your questions.

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What Is Thyroid Cancer?

The thyroid is a gland at the base of the throat that produces hormones that regulate your body's energy use and metabolism. There are several types of cancer that can originate in the tissues of the thyroid gland. Cure rates for thyroid cancer are quite high, and treatments tend to be very successful. Thyroid cancers are more common in women than in men.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

Most people diagnosed with thyroid cancer first see a doctor because they feel a lump or bump in the lower part of their throat. The first step in evaluating a nodule usually involves a fine needle aspiration biopsy and an ultrasound or CT scan of the neck. More than 95% of thyroid nodules are non-cancerous.

Trouble swallowing, neck pain and swollen lymph nodes may also be symptoms of thyroid cancer.

Treating Thyroid Cancer

The specific diagnosis and the stage of the cancer will influence the treatment plan. Most thyroid cancers don't require radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Our specialists perform surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid, called a thyroidectomy, which is coordinated with a radiation oncologist.

Patients who have their thyroid gland removed must take thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of their lives.

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Meet Our Physicians

Each of our physicians is board-certified in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, and Dr. Ellerbe is board-certified in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.