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What should I ask my doctor once I've been diagnosed with thyroid cancer?

Once you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, you should ask your doctor questions to determine if he or she is an experienced thyroid surgeon. The first and most important step in treating thyroid cancer is having complete initial surgery. The best outcomes and fewest complications are achieved when surgery is performed by a very experienced thyroid surgeon. For adults, this means a surgeon who does 100 or more thyroid surgeries per year. When you meet with your surgeon you should ask the following questions:

  • How many thyroid surgeries do you perform yearly?
  • How many thyroid cancer surgeries do you perform yearly?
  • What is your rate of temporary and permanent hypoparathyroidism (low calcium)?
  • What is your rate of temporary and permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve injury (i.e. causing hoarseness in patients)?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.