Thyroid Cancer Treatment in Israel
Head of Otolaryngology Department
Head of Otolaryngology Department
The evaluation for thyroid cancer in Top Ichilov takes 3-4 days. The cost of diagnosis: $2,936.
Minimally invasive surgery: transoral thyroidectomy, surgery using the Da Vinci Xi surgical robot.
Radiation therapy: radioactive iodine therapy – I-131 (RAI).
Chemotherapy: paclitaxel (Taxol) + efatutazone protocol for anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Targeted therapy: pralsetinib; multikinase inhibitors – lenvatinib (Lenvima), sorafenib (Nexavar), sunitinib (Sutent), pazopanib (Votrient), axitinib (Inlyta), vandetanib (Caprelsa) and cabozantinib (Cometriq); RET inhibitor – selpercatinib (Retevmo); NTRK inhibitors – larotrectinib (Vitrakvi) and entrectinib (Rozlytrek); BRAF and MEK inhibitors – dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist); angiogenesis inhibitor – bevacizumab (Avastin).
Thyroid cancer treatment in Top Ichilov is provided by a specialist team including:
- Endocrinologist – Doctor G. Schenkerman;
- ENT surgeon – Professor D. Fliss;
- Oncologist – Professor M. Inbar;
- Radiologist – Doctor T. Rabin.
The Program of Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis in Top Ichilov
First Day. The Primary Patient Exam and Consultation
Physical exam, health history, issue of medical documents, referrals for diagnostic procedures by Doctor I. Molchanova. Tissue samples (slides and/or paraffin blocks) brought to Israel for revision are sent to the laboratory.
Second Day. Laboratory Tests and Diagnosis
Accompanied by a medical coordinator, the patient undergoes the recommended tests and studies:
- Complete blood count (CBC) and blood biochemistry.
- Thyroid ultrasound.
- PET/CT (positron emission tomography)* or radionuclide imaging with radioactive iodine.**
*Limitations for this procedure:
- No sooner than in 2-2.5 weeks after chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
- No sooner than in 5-6 weeks after radiation therapy.
- No sooner than in 5-6 weeks after surgery.
**A thyroid scan with radioactive iodine may be used to locate both metastases and thyroid cells that remain after surgery. Medullary thyroid cancers do not absorb iodine, so this test is not indicative of this type of cancer.
Third Day. Final Consultation and Treatment Planning
For the specialists to summarize the evaluation results and develop a treatment plan, the patient visits one of the dedicated experts:
- Endocrinologist – Doctor G. Schenkerman;
- Surgeon – Doctor C. Ben-Bassat;
- Radiation oncologist – Doctor D. Matseevski.
The final consultation with Doctor I. Molchanova comprises the summary of evaluation results and the issue of prescriptions according to the treatment protocol.
The duration of staying in Israel for the complete diagnostic examination: 3-4 working days. Price: $2,936.
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The Advantages of Thyroid Cancer Treatment in Israel
- The Israeli clinics provide genetic testing. If medullary thyroid cancer is detected, the patient may be offered a blood test to identify the gene that has caused cancer. If the test is positive, the patient’s children and parents should also undergo testing to detect possible thyroid conditions. Over 90% of people with this gene eventually develop thyroid cancer. If your child has the gene, the doctor may offer thyroid removal. Even though children under 5 rarely develop cancer, one of the medullary cancer types known as MEN 2B is sometimes diagnosed within the first few months of life.
- Diagnostic accuracy. In 34% of cases, the thyroid cancer diagnosis in foreign patients is not confirmed in Israel. According to our physicians’ expertise, this may be due to the following reasons:
- There is a tumor but it is benign and requires different treatment or monitoring.
- The tumor is malignant but the type of cancer cells has been misidentified. The misidentification inevitably leads to the prescription of an inadequate chemotherapy protocol.
- Some patients are misdiagnosed on the base of materials taken from another patient.
- Use of PET/CT. To diagnose thyroid cancer, Israeli physicians actively use positron emission tomography combined with computerized tomography (PET/CT). This method helps detect even very small tumors as well as locate and assess any metastases.
- Personalized approach to treatment. In Israel, thyroid cancer treatment does not always mean strict adherence to a single treatment protocol. The doctor may use a combination of different protocols if this approach is considered more effective.
- International experience exchange. Israeli physicians providing thyroid cancer treatment regularly exchange treatment strategies with their foreign colleagues.
The Physicians Who Treat Thyroid Cancer in Top Ichilov
Treatment and evaluation of thyroid cancer patients in Top Ichilov are provided by Israel’s leading oncologists:
Professor Dan Fliss, Head of ENT Surgery Department at the Ichilov Hospital. Specializes in minimally invasive thyroid cancer treatment. Performs surgery using advanced, sparing techniques.
Doctor Carlos Benbassat, leading Israeli endocrinologist. Works at the Beilinson State Hospital. Specializes in treating thyroid diseases including cancers.
Doctor Irina Stefanski, oncologist, Head of Chemotherapy Department, Deputy Head of Oncology Department. Professional experience in oncology: about 27 years. One of Israel’s best specialists in comprehensive cancer therapy.
Doctor Galina Schenkerman, endocrinologist, expert in thyroid conditions. Clinical experience: over 40 years. Directs a subdivision of the Ichilov State Clinic.
Doctor Diana Matseevski, leading oncologist of the Ichilov Hospital. Specializes in treating cancer with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Provides treatment for malignant tumors of the thyroid.
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The 4 Advantages of Thyroid Cancer Treatment in Israel
Here are the main advantages of thyroid cancer treatment at the Top Ichilov Medical Center:
- 95% accurate diagnosis;
- Wide range of surgical procedures to remove the thyroid;
- Comprehensive treatment approach;
- Radioactive iodine therapy.
The Wide Range of Surgical Procedures to Remove the Thyroid
Surgery (a thyroidectomy) is the main treatment option for thyroid cancer. In most cases, the gland is removed completely to prevent cancer recurrence. However, for some tumor types, Israeli ENT surgeons may be able to partially preserve the thyroid and its function. Even if the total thyroid removal is required, surgery in Israel is performed using sparing techniques.
The doctors may remove the thyroid:
- Through a small incision (5-7cm);
- Using the minimally invasive technique: through 2 punctures 0.5-1cm in diameter.
Minimally invasive surgery means much less harm to the surrounding tissues and faster recovery. Recently, these procedures have been mostly performed with a surgical robot.
The approximate cost of surgical thyroid removal in Israel: from $15,357.
The advanced methods to remove benign thyroid nodules include radiofrequency ablation. This procedure may also be used as an additional option for thyroid cancer. The doctors use heat energy for the tumor coagulation. Using ultrasound and a special thin needle, the surgeon heats the affected area up to 70 degrees Celsius. This leads to the necrosis (dying-off) of the abnormal tissues. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and does not require hospitalization. It leaves no scars on the patient's neck.
The Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Treatment
Thyroid cancer diagnosis in Israel is provided by an otolaryngologist. Other specialists may join the doctor at different treatment stages. For instance, a plastic surgeon may take part in surgical treatment (this ensures virtual invisibility of the sutures after surgery). After the thyroid removal, the patient is prescribed hormone replacement therapy. The recommendations and further monitoring are provided by an endocrinologist.
The participation of dedicated experts in various fields makes cancer treatment in Israel more effective.
Radioactive Iodine Therapy
In some cases, it may be impossible to remove all cancer cells surgically. To destroy the remaining cells, the doctors may use radioactive iodine therapy. Besides, this type of treatment is also used for recurrent or metastatic thyroid cancer.
The thyroid has an increased capability for iodine absorption. This is also characteristic of malignant thyroid cells. This fact serves as the foundation for radioactive iodine therapy: the drug destroys only thyroid cells (including tumor cells) and does not affect the surrounding tissues. The cost of radioactive iodine therapy in Israel amounts to $2,978.
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Thyroid Cancer Treatment Options Introduced in 2022
This surgical procedure is performed without external incisions. The thyroid is removed through an incision in the mouth, in the inner side of the lower lip. By 2021, the Israeli ENT surgeons have already accumulated successful transoral thyroidectomy experience. Now, this method is going to be widely used in clinical practice.
The Pralsetinib Medication
This drug is used to treat advanced medullary thyroid cancer. It proved effective in the clinical trials and reduced the amount of cancerous tissues in 95% of patients.
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