Study Finds Over Treatment of Early Stage Thyroid Cancer Using Radioactive Iodine Could Harm Patient’s Outcome

Babak Larian, MD, FACS, and Director of the CENTER for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery in Los Angeles, responds to new study involving treating low risk thyroid cancer patients and his approach to curing the condition.

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Babak Larian
Removing the thyroid gland or a part of the thyroid gland is completely sufficient in most patients that I treat. I want them to see the best results possible and recover wonderfully, which is why I don’t use radioactive iodine unless necessary.

Beverly Hills, CA (PRWEB) March 18, 2013

According to a new study published by the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, thyroid cancer surgeons may be mistreating patients with additional radioactive iodine that isn’t completely necessary to ensure optimal results. Babak Larian, MD, FACS, and director of the center for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery in Los Angeles believes radioactive iodine should only be used in patients suffering from severe thyroid cancer and not for individuals considered low risk.

“Patients who have been diagnosed with early-stage thyroid cancer do not need to undergo treatment with radioactive iodine, because this has no advantage and can actually cause harm. At my practice, I remove a portion or the entire thyroid in patients dealing with low-risk cancerous tumors, which often brings the best results,” said world-renowned thyroid surgeon Babak Larian, MD, FACS.

Though radioactive iodine is an ideal treatment for individuals facing severe thyroid cancer and who are at a higher risk of developing additional cancer after surgery, the study aimed to declare that the treatment is not necessary for patients who received an early diagnosis of thyroid cancer. To receive conclusive results, the study examined 37,000 cases of thyroid cancer between 1973 and 2007, in which 15,000 patients had been treated with radioactive iodine and 3,000 developed additional cancerous tumors. The study also found that radioactive iodine was not to blame for secondary cancers at the beginning of the research, but appeared relevant for 14 additional cancers per 10,000 patients each year. Aside from causing cancer, radioactive iodine can also do damage to other bodily tissues.

“Radioactive iodine is an aggressive treatment reserved for thyroid cancer that have shown signs of being aggressive or advanced. It can actually harm other tissue in the body, which is why it should only be administered when absolutely necessary. It’s important for thyroid surgeons to realize which patients will benefit from this, and which patients will not,” said Dr. Larian.

At the CENTER for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery in Los Angeles, Dr. Larian finds the best results in treating patients who have received an early diagnosis of thyroid cancer often come through partial or full thyroid removal. He uses a minimally invasive technique for thyroidectomy surgeries, which provides patients with less pain after their surgery, a quicker recovery, and an almost invisible scar.

Removing the thyroid gland or a part of the thyroid gland is completely sufficient in most patients that I treat. I want them to see the best results possible and recover wonderfully, which is why I don’t use radioactive iodine unless necessary,” said Dr. Larian.

Dr. Larian is a board certified head and neck surgeon with an extensive training and knowledge in the treatment and management of various thyroid gland disorders through advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures. Upon receiving his medical degree from the well-respected University of California—Irvine, Dr.Larian completed a six-year residency program in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Larian currently holds the prestigious title of Chief of Head & Neck Surgery at the highly regarded Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

For further information regarding parotid surgery expert Dr. Larian or to schedule an appointment, please call (310) 461-0300 or visit http://www.advancedonc.com.