A review of thyroid cancer and follow up screening after initial treatment

Bich Thi Ngoc Doan, Lembit Sihver


This paper present a cost effective and simple screening method to follow up thyroid cancer patients who have had their thyroid surgically removed (thyroidectomy), without any metastases, and have been declared stable or cured. The method is based on using a small NaI (Tl) detector system and oral intake of 131I, to measure the concentrated radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU), together with measurements of blood levels of protein Thyroglobulin (Tg). It is shown that measurements of RAIU together with Tg measurements can detect with high precision re-occurrence of thyroid cancer. Due to its simplicity and cost effectiveness, the presented method could be used at any local nuclear medicine department/medical in Vietnam. If there are indications of a cancer re-occurrence, the patients could be sent to a major hospital for further assessment. If needed, follow up treatment with 131I could also be performed at the local nuclear medicine departments/medical centers. However, while the presented method is clinically feasible to serve the rural population it will require additional health resources and this would have to be balanced against other health priorities.


thyroid cancer, radioactive iodine uptake, Thyroglobulin, nuclear medicine

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