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Januvia Thyroid Cancer Treatment & Drugs

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If you were treated for thyroid cancer after using Januvia (sitagliptin) to control type-2 diabetes, it is possible that Januvia was linked to your cancer. Januvia thyroid cancer treatments typically involve surgery to remove the thyroid gland, radiation treatments, and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, thyroid cancer treatment may be lifelong, because the patient may need to take hormone supplements and have regular exams.

Januvia Thyroid Cancer Treatment

In 2006, the type-2 diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin) was marketed in the United States. Within 3 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received two reports of thyroid cancer in Januvia patients. Because thyroid cancer is very rare, researchers have raised concerns about the possible increased risk of Januvia thyroid cancer.

Common options for Januvia thyroid cancer treatment include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Thyroid hormone replacement
  • Emotional support
  • And more

Surgery for Thyroid Cancer

Fortunately, most people who get thyroid cancer are diagnosed and treated in the early stages, when surgery can potentially cure the disease. There are several types of common surgeries that could be used during Januvia thyroid cancer treatment:

  • Lobectomy: The thyroid gland is located on the front and center part of the neck. It has two lobes that look similar to a “butterfly” shape. If thyroid cancer only develops in one lobe, surgery called a lobectomy will remove that lobe and leave the other lobe intact. The patient may still have a semi-functioning thyroid gland, which may reduce the need for lifelong hormone supplements.
  • Thyroidectomy: This is a surgery to remove the entire thyroid gland. The patient will require lifelong hormone supplement medications.
  • Lymphadenectomy: Thyroid cancer that spreads to other tissues will likely appear in the lymph nodes in the neck, which may need to be removed surgically.

Thyroid Cancer Radiation Treatment and Chemotherapy

There are several Januvia thyroid cancer treatment options involving radiation or chemotherapy:

  • Radioactive Iodine Therapy: Patients swallow a capsule or a liquid with radioactive iodine. It is slowly absorbed by cells in the thyroid gland, which are killed by the radiation. This therapy destroys the entire thyroid gland, including cancerous and healthy tissue. It is used to treat papillary or follicular thyroid cancer.
  • External radiation therapy: This treatment uses a machine that emits high-energy radiation to specific areas in the body, which kills cancerous cells. The treatment is painless but it can have serious side effects. It is used to treat thyroid cancer that cannot be removed surgically or with radioactive iodine.
  • Chemotherapy: This treatment may be combined with radiation therapy. It involves intravenous (IV) administration of powerful drugs that kill cancer cells in the body.

Januvia Thyroid Cancer Drug Information

Most people who have thyroid cancer will need at least a part of their thyroid gland removed. This can cause long-term complications, because the thyroid is necessary for regulating metabolism, calcium levels in the bloodstream, and more. Thyroid hormone treatment may be necessary to replace these hormones, such as the following drug supplements:

  • Levothroid
  • Levoxyl
  • Tirosint
  • Unithroid
  • Synthroid
  • Levothyroxine
  • And more


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