In order to diagnose Hurthle cell cancer, the following procedures may be recommended:
- Physical Examination: examination of the neck and lymph nodes by the specialist.
- Diagnostic Imaging Procedure: includes Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Computerized Tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This is to determine the extent of the cancer.
- Blood tests: specialist will request laboratory tests for the thyroid functions.
- Ultrasound: use sound waves that will make a picture of the organ or gland.
- Tissue Biopsy: A tissue sample will be removed for laboratory testing and then sent to the pathology for evaluate for any signs of cancer in order to diagnose the staging and the type of thyroid cell disorder.
- Laryngoscopy: is a procedure to examine the larynx (vocal box) by using special camera.
Surgical removal of the thyroid is the common treatment for Hurthle cell cancer. Treatment options would be discussed with the specialist.
- Thyroidectomy: surgical removal of the all or part of the thyroid gland. Medication will be prescribed for normalizing the thyroid hormones after the surgery.
- Radioactive iodine therapy – is a radioactive liquid capsule, that is taken orally take by the patient. Iodine substance will help destroy any thyroid tissue that remains after surgery.
- Radiation therapy – uses high powered energy beams that will kill cancer cells. The therapy could be applied if there are remaining cancer cell after the surgery and radioactive iodine treatment or if the cancer spreads.
- Targeted Drug Therapy – used in the treatment of advanced cancer. This therapy could be recommended if cancer cell returns despite other treatments.