Thyroid Cancer

When you come to Winship Cancer Institute for thyroid cancer treatment, you have a multidisciplinary team of experts dedicated to your well-being.

Your Winship Cancer Institute care team draws on Emory’s vast resources in endocrine medicine, surgical oncology, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, imaging sciences and medical oncology, to provide the newest, most effective practices and treatments for thyroid cancer.

Our multidisciplinary care teams include endocronologists, oncology surgeons, nuclear medicine physicians, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists and advanced practice nurses with expertise in thyroid cancers. As specialists, our teams develop groundbreaking surgeries, medical treatments and surveillance algorithms that produce better outcomes and are adopted by other leading cancer centers.

The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:

  • Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top cancer experts in the world.
  • Monthly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
  • Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
  • Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
  • Access to support programs and groups for you and your caregivers.
  • Availability of new treatment options within our clinical trials program.

If a patient exhibits symptoms of thyroid cancer, a physician may conduct one or more of the following procedures:

Physical exam: a doctor will feel the thyroid for lumps and nodules. The neck and lymph nodes will also be examined for growth and swelling.

Blood test: abnormal hormone levels in the blood can indicate that the thyroid is not functioning properly.

Thyroid scan: the patient swallows a small amount of radioactive substance that travels through the blood stream and is absorbed by the thyroid. A scan shows how the thyroid tissues and nodules absorb the substance.

Ultrasound: sound waves are used to create pictures of the thyroid and nodules that may be too small to be felt by a doctor.

Biopsy: a small sample of tissue is examined with a microscope to check for cancerous cells. This is the only sure way to detect thyroid cancer.

For reliable, in-depth information about cancer symptoms, staging and diagnosis, visit CancerQuest, an educational and outreach program at Emory University. 

Visit CancerQuest

Thyroid cancer treatment is based on many factors including size and location of the tumor,  the type of thyroid cancer, whether the cancer has spread and the patient’s overall health.

One or more of the following types of treatment will be used.

Surgery: physicians may remove part of or the entire thyroid and the nearby lymph nodes and affected tissue. Chemotherapy and radiation may be used before or after surgery if you have the malignant form of thyroid cancer called anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Radioiodine therapy: this comes in pill form taken by mouth to identify the location of thyroid cancer as well as to treat the cancer.

Close Surveillance and thyroid hormone replacement therapy: Winship physicians employ a multidisciplinary approach to carefully determine the level of risk posed by your cancer after you have completed the needed surgery. When indicated, they will closely monitor your condition using a combination of physical examination, blood tests and imaging with ultrasound.

Radiation: high energy x-rays or other types of radiation are used to kill cancer cells. Physicians may use radiation therapy by itself to treat thyroid cancer or to shrink tumors before surgery. Learn more about radiation therapy treatments and services.

Targeted therapies: Winship’s most promising research in treating thyroid cancer is in personalized medicine and targeted therapies. In personalized medicine, researchers identify unique characteristics of tumors that make them vulnerable to known drugs so therapy can be tailored to an individual’s cancer. In targeted therapies, investigators look for new drugs that more selectively target cancer cells with fewer side effects. Winship investigators are conducting clinical studies using targeted therapies in various types of thyroid cancer including papillary, follicular and medullary subtypes of thyroid cancer.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery or radiation to maximize the treatment.

In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselorsnurse navigatorsdietitians and social service professionals.

 Consider talking with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial at Winship. Through these trials, you may have access to treatments that are not widely available.

Learn More About Clinical Trials

If you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, we are ready to help you. Call us at 1 (888) 946-7447 or (404) 778-1900 to make an appointment or request an appointment online. Winship experts are available for a second opinion.

We understand that this is a very stressful time. We welcome your questions and requests for help. Learn what to expect on your first visit.

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Wendy Baer MD

  • Oncology Psychiatrist
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                                 Wendy Baer MD
Wendy Baer MD

Wendy Baer MD

  • Dr. Baer helps patients and their families deal with the stress of receiving a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
  • Medical Director of Psychiatric Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD
Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Deborah A. Baumgarten MD, MPH, FACR, FSAR

  • Radiologist
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                                 Deborah A. Baumgarten MD, MPH, FACR, FSAR
Deborah A. Baumgarten MD, MPH, FACR, FSAR

Deborah A. Baumgarten MD, MPH, FACR, FSAR

Jonathan J. Beitler MD, MBA, FACR, FASTRO

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Jonathan J. Beitler MD, MBA, FACR, FASTRO
Jonathan J. Beitler MD, MBA, FACR, FASTRO

Jonathan J. Beitler MD, MBA, FACR, FASTRO

  • Dr. Beitler is a radiation oncologist specializing in head and neck cancer at Winship Cancer Institute.
  • Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-2391

Stephen Brandt MD

  • Endocronologist
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                                 Stephen Brandt MD
Stephen Brandt MD

Stephen Brandt MD

  • A board certified endocronologist, Dr. Brandt specializes in adrenal disorders, diabetes mellitis, osteoporosis, pituitary disorders and thyroid disorders.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Russell Brown LMSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Russell Brown LMSW
Russell Brown LMSW

Russell Brown LMSW

  • Mr. Brown works with gastrointestinal, genitourinary, breast cancer, brain cancer, gynecological, aerodigestive, and sarcoma patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
  • Social Worker, Medical Oncology, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 686-5191

Amy Y. Chen MD, MPH, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Amy Y. Chen MD, MPH, FACS
Amy Y. Chen MD, MPH, FACS

Amy Y. Chen MD, MPH, FACS

  • Dr. Chen specializes in advanced skin cancers and otolaryngology, specifically thyroid and parotid cancers.
  • Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3381

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Supportive Oncologist
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                                 Kimberly A. Curseen MD
Kimberly A. Curseen MD

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Dr. Curseen is the primary provider for the Supportive Oncology Clinic at Winship.
  • Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services , Emory Healthcare
  • (404) 778-6448

Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Sharon  Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP
Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

Sharon Etris MS, FNP-C, AOCNP

Joan Giblin NP

  • Survivorship Program
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                                 Joan  Giblin NP
Joan Giblin NP

Joan Giblin NP

  • An experienced nurse practitioner specialist with extensive patient care involvement, Ms. Giblin facilitates continued good health and quality of life for cancer survivors.
  • Survivorship Program Director, Winship Cancer Institute
  • (404) 778-1900

Raghuveer K. Halkar MD

  • Nuclear Radiologist
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                                 Raghuveer K. Halkar MD
Raghuveer K. Halkar MD

Raghuveer K. Halkar MD

  • Located at Grady Memorial Hospital, Dr. Halkar's clinical expertise is in neuroendocrine tumor management and the treatment of thyroid cancer.
  • Professor, Department of Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Kristin Higgins MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Kristin Higgins MD
Kristin Higgins MD

Kristin Higgins MD

  • As a radiation oncologist, Dr. Higgins specializes in the treatment of lung, head and neck cancers.
  • Assistant Professor and Medical Director, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3473

Patricia A. Hudgins MD, FACR

  • Radiologist
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                                 Patricia A. Hudgins MD, FACR
Patricia A. Hudgins MD, FACR

Patricia A. Hudgins MD, FACR

  • As director of Head and Neck Radiology at Winship, Dr. Hudgins is a leader in the diagnosis and staging of a variety of cancers including laryngeal, oropharyngeal, and thyroid cancers.
  • Director, Head and Neck Radiology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Sol Jacobs MD

  • Endocrinologist
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                                 Sol Jacobs MD
Sol Jacobs MD

Sol Jacobs MD

Irina Knudsen NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Irina Knudsen NP
Irina Knudsen NP

Irina Knudsen NP

Daniel J. Lee MD

  • Nuclear Medicine
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                                 Daniel J. Lee MD
Daniel J. Lee MD

Daniel J. Lee MD

Melinda Moore Lewis MD

  • Pathologist
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                                 Melinda Moore Lewis MD
Melinda Moore Lewis MD

Melinda Moore Lewis MD

Colleen Lewis NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Colleen Lewis NP
Colleen Lewis NP

Colleen Lewis NP

Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

  • Nurse Navigator
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                                 Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN
Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

Janet Nizam RN, BSN, OCN

Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD
Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD

Taofeek Owonikoko MD, PhD

  • Dr. Owonikoko's clinical specialties include lung cancer, thyroid cancer and other cancers of the aerodigestive tract.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Kim Palmer

  • Chaplain
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                                 Kim Palmer
Kim Palmer

Kim Palmer

  • Ms. Palmer provides spiritual care to patients, families, and staff in both outpatient and inpatient settings.
  • Chaplain, Emory University Hospital
  • (404) 712-7200

Sandra Parker NP-C

  • Team Member
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                                 Sandra Parker NP-C
Sandra Parker NP-C

Sandra Parker NP-C

  • Ms. Parker is an advanced registered nurse practitioner in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
  • Nurse Practitioner, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7004

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • At Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Ms. Perlmutter works with patients of all cancer types providing resource referrals and counseling services.
  • Social Worker, Outpatient Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7826

Rathi Pillai MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Rathi Pillai MD
Rathi Pillai MD

Rathi Pillai MD

  • A certified medical oncologist, Dr. Pillai's clinical focus includes the treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymoma and thyroid cancer.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP
Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP

Nabil F. Saba MD, FACP

Jyotirmay (Joe) Sharma MD

  • Surgeon
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                                 Jyotirmay (Joe) Sharma MD
Jyotirmay (Joe) Sharma MD

Jyotirmay (Joe) Sharma MD

Momin T. Siddiqui MD

  • Pathologist
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                                 Momin T. Siddiqui MD
Momin T. Siddiqui MD

Momin T. Siddiqui MD

Vinita Singh MD

  • Pain Management Specialist
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                                 Vinita Singh MD
Vinita Singh MD

Vinita Singh MD

  • Dr. Singh collaborates with oncologists to provide state-of-the-art therapies to cancer patients suffering from pain symptoms.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-2410

Sumathi Srivatsa MD

  • Endocrinologist
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                                 Sumathi Srivatsa MD
Sumathi Srivatsa MD

Sumathi Srivatsa MD

Conor E. Steuer MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Conor E. Steuer MD
Conor E. Steuer MD

Conor E. Steuer MD

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

  • Social Worker
Photo of 
                                 Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW
Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

  • Ms. Tinsley works with the head and neck cancer, and thyroid cancer patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
  • Social Worker, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 686-7269

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
Photo of 
                                 Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD
Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Dr. Vainshtein treats patients with head and neck cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, thoracic malignancies and sarcomas at both Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory University Hospital.
  • Instructor, Clinical Track, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3473

J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS

  • Otolaryngologist
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                                 J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS
J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS

J. Trad Wadsworth MD, FACS

  • Dr. Wadsworth's expertise includes head and neck oncologic surgery, microvascular reconstruction surgery, parathyroid and thyroid surgery.
  • Associate Professor & Vice-Chair of Clinical Affairs, Otolaryngology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Emily Walters RD, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Emily  Walters RD, LD
Emily Walters RD, LD

Emily Walters RD, LD

  • Ms. Walters offers personalized nutrition advice to cancer patients treated at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory Johns Creek Hospital.
  • Registered Dietitian, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7115

Collin J. Weber MD

  • Surgeon
Photo of 
                                 Collin J. Weber MD
Collin J. Weber MD

Collin J. Weber MD

Kathryn Wrammert MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AOCNP

  • NP Specialist
Photo of 
                                 Kathryn Wrammert MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AOCNP
Kathryn Wrammert MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AOCNP

Kathryn Wrammert MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AOCNP

  • Ms. Wrammert helps patients manage their treatment related side effects as well as symptoms from their disease.
  • Nurse Practitioner Specialist, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900