Thyroid cancer care at Mayo Clinic


Why choose Mayo Clinic for thyroid treatment

Benzon M. Dy, M.D., Endocrine and Metabolic Surgery: The thyroid conditions that we treat in endocrine and metabolic surgery at Mayo Clinic include: thyroid cancer; enlargement of the thyroid, such as thyroid goiters; conditions in which you produce too much hormone from your thyroid, including Graves disease and toxic nodules. We also treat genetic conditions, including multiple endocrine neoplasia.

Trenton R. Foster, M.D., Endocrine and Metabolic Surgery: The multidisciplinary team really revolves around the idea that an endocrinologist, as well as an endocrine surgeon, will evaluate a patient together.

Melanie L. Lyden, M.D., Endocrine and Metabolic Surgery: When a patient is coming from out of town, we work to consolidate their care so that their appointments are streamlined. We arrange to get the ultrasound, the blood tests, the biopsy, a visit with the surgeon, and then surgery all during one visit.

Dr. Foster: Frozen section pathology is something that we have available to us for all of our procedures here at Mayo Clinic. So we can take a biopsy of something that we find at the time of surgery and have it evaluated, while a patient is still asleep even, to determine whether this is something of concern or something not.

Dr. Lyden: The one thing that I find that makes a huge difference for patients and their outcome is our radiologists and the ultrasound. To be able to do the lymph node mapping, so as a surgeon I know where the disease is, and we're not leaving cancer behind.

Dr. Dy: We offer you a variety of treatments. We have radiofrequency ablation. We also offer radioactive iodine in cases of Graves disease. We were one of the first centers to offer ethanol ablation.

Dr. Foster: And everything that is out there is available here at Mayo Clinic. We have all of the latest imaging techniques. We have the latest treatment options available. And we have true experts in their field.


Mayo Clinic experts provide personalized, comprehensive care for people with thyroid cancer.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Mayo Clinic offers a truly integrated practice, with a variety of thyroid cancer specialists regularly working together and meeting to discuss cases. This ensures that you receive whole-person care that considers all of your needs. Your care team carefully weighs all of your treatment options to create a plan that's personalized for you.

Your care team might include:

  • Endocrinologists
  • Endocrine surgeons
  • Head and neck surgeons
  • Ear, nose and throat specialists (otolaryngologists)
  • Oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Radiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Other professionals as needed

Members of your care team spend time getting to know you, so they understand what's important to you. The result is a treatment plan that puts you — a unique individual — at the center of all the care you receive.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Mayo Clinic thyroid cancer specialists have access to the latest technology and techniques to diagnose and treat thyroid cancer, including clinical trials investigating the latest in medical innovation. Your care team keeps up on the latest evidence and incorporates it into your treatment plan.

Mayo Clinic thyroid cancer specialists can provide:

  • Thorough examination of the lymph nodes in the neck. High-definition ultrasound exams of your thyroid and neck give your doctor an accurate picture of your condition, including whether cancer may have spread to your lymph nodes. The results of your ultrasound help inform your treatment options, including the extent of your surgery.
  • Accurate diagnosis. Mayo Clinic pathologists have analyzed biopsy and tissue samples from many thyroid cancers, including very rare types. This experience helps ensure that you'll receive an accurate diagnosis that will be helpful for planning your treatments.
  • Advanced laboratory testing. Pathologists use the latest in lab testing to provide you with a precise diagnosis. Molecular marker testing of your cancer cells helps determine what gene mutations are present in your cancer cells, such as RET and BRAF. These results help determine the type of thyroid cancer you have and which treatments might be most helpful.
  • A full range of treatment options to consider. The range of treatments offered to people with thyroid cancer includes several surgical procedures, including traditional thyroidectomy and, in certain situations, robotic thyroidectomy. Other treatments, such as radioactive iodine, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and alcohol ablation are offered as well.
  • Experienced surgeons. Mayo Clinic endocrine surgeons perform many thyroidectomy procedures every year and are trained in the latest minimally invasive techniques. Research shows that surgeons who have more experience tend to have better outcomes for patients, such as fewer complications and a shorter hospital stay.
  • Carefully selected targeted therapy. If you're considering targeted therapy for thyroid cancer, your doctor may test your cancer cells to see which treatments might be helpful. Many targeted therapies are available, including the latest multikinase inhibitors.
  • Options when radioactive iodine doesn't work anymore. If your thyroid cancer has become resistant to radioactive iodine therapy (radioactive iodine refractory), Mayo Clinic doctors will work to find a treatment that might be helpful for you. One option may be drugs that make your thyroid cancer cells more sensitive to radioactive iodine treatment (redifferentiation therapy).
  • Clinical trials testing the latest options. Clinical trials give you a chance to try the latest thyroid cancer treatments. Mayo Clinic doctors design and conduct many thyroid cancer clinical trials each year. Clinical trials may test new drugs and new procedures, such as minimally invasive ablation procedures instead of surgery for small thyroid cancers.

Expert care for everyone with thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer specialists at Mayo Clinic provide expert care for all thyroid cancers, including:

  • All subtypes of thyroid cancer. Some subtypes of thyroid cancer are very rare. Some doctors may see these types infrequently. The specialists at Mayo Clinic are respected for their experience in caring for people with very rare types of thyroid cancer.
  • All stages of thyroid cancer. Mayo Clinic doctors have effective treatment strategies for all stages of thyroid cancer. This includes advanced and aggressive thyroid cancers, which may require the latest treatment strategies. For papillary microcarcinoma, Mayo Clinic doctors offer the latest imaging tests to track the cancer and determine if treatment is necessary.
  • Slow-growing thyroid cancers. Many thyroid cancers are small and grow slowly. Mayo Clinic doctors often recommend less invasive treatment options for these cancers, including active surveillance and alcohol ablation.
  • Recurrent thyroid cancers. If your thyroid cancer comes back, Mayo Clinic offers many effective treatments. You'll also have access to clinical trials testing the latest treatments.
  • Thyroid cancer survivors. Mayo Clinic doctors offer a full range of supportive services to help you transition from treatment and into life as a cancer survivor. Your health care team will work closely with you to find the right levels of thyroid hormone replacement if you experience hypothyroidism after surgery to remove the thyroid or part of the thyroid.

Expertise and rankings

Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors care for more than 4,000 people with thyroid cancer. Mayo Clinic doctors have the knowledge and resources to provide comprehensive care for people with thyroid cancer.

At Mayo Clinic, you can expect:

  • Personalized care. Your thyroid cancer care team works closely with you to create a personalized treatment plan based on the particulars of your cancer, as well as your needs and goals. A personalized plan might involve creating treatment schedules that are convenient to you and selecting treatments based on the genetic makeup of your cancer cells.
  • Experience you can trust. Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience caring for people with thyroid cancer, including common and very rare forms of the disease. Mayo Clinic surgeons perform many thyroid surgeries each year. Research shows that people who receive care from experienced surgeons tend to have fewer complications and shorter hospital stays.
  • Nationally recognized expertise. Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center meets the strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognize scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

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April 26, 2023

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