The Rush Approach to Thyroid and Endocrine Cancer Care
Being diagnosed with thyroid cancer can make you feel anxious — but fortunately, most thyroid cancers are curable. In fact, many of these cancers require monitoring only, with little or no treatment. Those that do need treatment require a customized plan focused on achieving a good outcome without overtreating. Rush experts know how to strike that balance, thanks to their extensive experience with all types of thyroid cancer.
We’ll get you in quickly for your first appointment, perform an ultrasound-guided biopsy that day and begin working with you on a treatment plan right away. Our goal is to reach the best possible outcome while minimizing risks and preserving your quality of life.
For example, if you have a less aggressive cancer, we aim to tailor your therapy to avoid removing the entire thyroid or treating you with radioactive iodine. If you need surgery, we monitor the nerves to your voice box to keep them safe from damage.
If your cancer is more aggressive, our experienced specialists are skilled in leading-edge approaches that you’ll find only at an academic health system like Rush. Many of these types of cancers would have been considered unsurvivable just five years ago, but the Rush team’s collaborative approach and advanced therapies have resulted in good survival rates.
Our collaborative care approach means that your team will include endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons who specialize in thyroid cancer, medical oncologists, head and neck surgeons and others — all working together with you. Research has found that this collaborative approach enables personalized treatment plans that offer effective therapies and the best possible quality of life. Collaborative care results in fewer aggressive surgeries, decreased use of external radiation, fewer invasive biopsies and increased thyroid nodule monitoring.
Rush Excellence in Thyroid and Endocrine Cancer Care
- Fellowship-trained endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons who focus on thyroid cancer: Rush experts have advanced subspecialty training, focus specifically on thyroid and endocrine cancers and are leaders in the field. This level of expertise allows them to provide you with the most up-to-date, effective treatments.
- Extensive surgical expertise: Our approach to thyroid cancer surgery brings together several types of surgical specialists — endocrine surgeons as well as otolaryngologists/head and neck surgeons — who specialize in the surgical treatment of thyroid cancer. Together, they offer a wide range of surgical options, from minimally invasive thyroidectomy to more complex tumor removal and head and neck reconstruction procedures for advanced cancers.
- Personalized treatment through genetic data: Our partnership with Tempus, a biotechnology company, helps us further customize your thyroid and endocrine cancer care through state-of-the-art genetic testing. If your cancer cells show changes in certain genes, we can treat you with a targeted drug regimen — an approach that’s especially effective if you have recurrent cancer or a family history of thyroid cancer.
- A multidisciplinary team dedicated to you: Our multidisciplinary team of thyroid cancer specialists includes endocrinologists, surgical oncologists, otolaryngologists/head and neck surgeons, genomics researchers, oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists and more. The team meets at a biweekly thyroid cancer tumor conference to discuss your case and create a personalized plan that focuses on ensuring the best possible outcome for you and maintaining your quality of life.
- Supportive care: Our team is acutely aware that a thyroid cancer diagnosis can have an emotional impact on you and your family. Rush’s supportive oncology program offers counseling, nutritional advice, acupuncture and massage. The team can also connect you to other resources, such as financial counseling and transportation assistance, to help you and your family before, during and after treatment.