Thyroid Cancer

A doctor inspecting a patient's nodes for thyroid cancer.
ABOVE: Dr. Dana Madison is the medical director of OHSU's Thyroid and Parathyroid Center. He is an endocrinologist (an expert in hormone-related conditions) and holds both a medical degree and a doctorate. BELOW: Dr. Maisie Shindo is the surgical director of OHSU's Thyroid and Parathyroid Center.

At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, we offer you the region’s most advanced care to diagnose and treat all types of thyroid cancer. Our services include:

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Our excellence

Our providers are thyroid experts. They are part of OHSU’s Thyroid and Parathyroid Center as well as the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, one of the nation’s top cancer centers.

Molecular testing: We offer molecular testing for some patients with inconclusive test results. This helps patients avoid unneeded surgery. Read more on our Thyroid Cancer Treatment page.

Experience: Our surgeons perform hundreds of thyroid cancer surgeries a year. They’re fellowship-trained, meaning they completed at least a year of advanced training in a surgical specialty after their residency.

Thyroid expertise: Our endocrinologists (doctors who treat hormone-related conditions) specialize in thyroid cancer and provide rigorous follow-up care. Our ultrasound specialist and pathologist also have extensive experience in detecting thyroid cancer. This includes with scans and biopsy samples from elsewhere.

All types: We have treatments for every thyroid cancer, including rare and advanced types. Therapies include targeted medications that attack cancer cells at the molecular level.

Coordinated care

Dr. Maisie L. Shindo of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.Your care team will include doctors, nurses and other experts who will work together to make sure you receive the best-possible outcome.

Team of experts: Your team may include a surgeon, an oncologist (cancer doctor), an endocrinologist (doctor who treats hormone-related conditions), nuclear medicine doctor, radiologist, pathologist, nurses and others. All are experts in thyroid cancer.

Thyroid Tumor Board: In addition to conferring in clinics, our providers gather each month in a meeting called a Thyroid Tumor Board. They examine scans and test results together, patient by patient. This makes sure that you benefit from the full team’s expertise.

The latest technology and techniques

Our highly trained surgeons and other specialists use the latest methods for diagnosis and treatment. These include:

  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques. This includes video-assisted surgery for some patients, reducing scarring and speeding recovery time.
  • Careful monitoring of the vocal cord nerves during surgery to help preserve function.
  • The latest ultrasound equipment.
  • State-of-the-art radiation therapy machines that are faster and more accurate.

Clinical trials and research

Extensive research: At OHSU, many providers are also scientists who are researching ways to improve care for patients with thyroid cancer. Our doctors have published dozens of studies on thyroid cancer. This highlights OHSU’s commitment to push scientific boundaries and to bring improvements to patients as quickly as possible.

Clinical trials: The Knight Cancer Institute offers access to hundreds of clinical trials to test new therapies. One of our trials led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a medication to treat a type of thyroid cancer.

Tumor database: OHSU maintains Oregon’s only database on endocrine tumors (including thyroid tumors) to help scientists study tumor behavior and outcomes. This Oregon Index of Endocrine Neoplasias cancer registry gives patients an opportunity to help research and receive updates on the latest advances.

Early detection: The Knight Cancer Institute is undertaking a major effort to detect cancers earlier, when they’re most curable. The Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center, or CEDAR, is bringing together some of the worlds top minds in cancer.