Thyroid Cancer (cont.)

Sources of support

Learning that you have thyroid cancer can change your life and the lives of those close to you. These changes can be hard to handle. It's normal for you, your family, and your friends to need help coping with the feelings that a diagnosis of cancer can bring.

Concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are common. You may also worry about caring for your family, keeping your job, or continuing daily activities.

Here's where you can go for support:

  • Doctors, nurses, and other members of your health care team can answer questions about treatment, working, or other activities.
  • Social workers, counselors, or members of the clergy can be helpful if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns. Often, social workers can suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support.
  • Support groups also can help. In these groups, patients or their family members meet with other patients or their families to share what they have learned about coping with cancer and the effects of treatment. Groups may offer support in person, over the telephone, or on the Internet. You may want to talk with a member of your health care team about finding a support group.
  • NCI's Cancer Information Service can help you locate programs, services, and NCI publications. Call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). Or, chat using LiveHelp, NCI's instant messaging service, at https://livehelp.cancer.gov.

For tips on coping, you may want to read the NCI booklet Taking Time: Support for People With Cancer.

Taking part in cancer research

Doctors all over the world are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Research has already led to advances in the treatment of thyroid cancer.

Doctors continue to search for new and better ways to treat thyroid cancer. They are testing new treatments, especially chemotherapy.

Clinical trials are designed to find out whether new treatments are safe and effective. Even if the people in a trial don't benefit directly, they may still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about thyroid cancer and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, researchers do all they can to protect their patients.

If you're interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor. You may want to read the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies. It describes how treatment studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks.

NCI's website includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of thyroid cancer.

NCI's Cancer Information Service can answer your questions and provide information about clinical trials. Contact CIS at 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237) or at LiveHelp (https://livehelp.cancer.gov).

Another agency of the Federal Government, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), sponsors research studies for people with thyroid cancer and other thyroid diseases. NIDDK's website is at http://www.niddk.nih.gov.

You can find NCI and NIDDK studies described at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. This website provides the latest information about federally and privately supported clinical trials.

SOURCE:

"What You Need To Know About Thyroid Cancer." NIH National Cancer Institute. 7 May 2012.


Last Editorial Review: 5/7/2012


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Thyroid Cancer - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of thyroid cancer can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
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