Radioactive Iodine 131
for the Treatment of Thyroid Cancer
Any patient with a suspicious thyroid nodule can be referred for evaluation at Hall-Perrine Cancer Center’s Thyroid Clinic. The patient is met by the Thyroid Nurse Navigator and is seen and examined by Dr. Arun Movva, a Board Certified Endocrinologist, and Dr. Vincent Reid, the area’s only fellowship-trained Oncologic Surgeon.
If a thyroid cancer is confirmed by biopsy, the first step is usually surgery at Mercy Medical Center by Dr. Reid. The patient is then referred to other specialists based on those results.
Many patients with thyroid cancer benefit from treatment with Radioactive Iodine 131. Dr. Jan Merfeld is a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist who has specialized in thyroid cancer for more than a decade. Under her direction, the patient undergoes comprehensive care with dietary preparation, a consultation with a Medical Physicist, and ongoing support from an Oncology Certified Radiation Oncology Nurse. Following the I 131 treatment, which is performed as an outpatient procedure, patients meet with Dr. Merfeld to review staging results and further recommendations. In rare cases, external beam radiation treatments may be necessary and are performed using the TomoTherapy system.
Most patients then require long-term suppressive synthroid therapy, typically managed by Dr. Movva or Dr. Deb Wilbur a Board Certified Medical Oncologist who has specialized training in thyroid cancer treatment. They follow the patient for the long term and direct any further diagnostic testing. If needed, newer therapies, such as targeting agents and clinical trials, are also available.
As patients near the completion of their initial treatment, they meet with Stephanie Phillips, ARNP, for a review of their survivorship care plan. The care plan is a summary of the stage and type of their thyroid cancer, treatment details and recommendations for long term follow-up care and return to good health.
A thyroid cancer support group meets on a monthly basis from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the Community Room at Hall-Perrine Cancer Center. Join others who have fought and survived thyroid cancer for support and education. For more information, contact Jamie at (319) 418-2563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.