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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Cancer Treatments > Thyroid Cancer Treatment

Thyroid Cancer Treatment Cost

How Much Does Thyroid Cancer Treatment Cost?

average costWith Health Insurance: Copays + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $4,000-$60,000+
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Treatment for thyroid cancer typically involves surgery followed by radioactive iodine therapy, which often can cure the disease. If the cancer has spread, chemotherapy might be recommended.

Typical costs:

  • For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for thyroid cancer treatment typically consist of doctor visit, lab and prescription drug copays as well as coinsurance of 10%-50% for surgery and other procedures, which can easily reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum. Thyroid cancer treatment typically is covered by health insurance, although some plans may not cover certain drugs or treatments.
  • For patients without health insurance, thyroid cancer treatment typically costs from about $20,000-$40,000 for surgery and up to $4,000 for radioactive iodine treatment, which is often recommended for thyroid cancer.
  • For example, Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical System[1] in Nebraska, charges about $15,000-$20,000 or more, not including doctor fee, for removal of the thyroid for cancer. Straub Clinic & Hospital[2] in Hawaii charges about $23,500 for complete or partial removal of the thyroid, but the price drops to about $16,500 if the bill is paid in full in 90 days, or about $14,000 if paid in 30 days. Baptist Memorial Health Care[3] in Tennessee charges under $17,000, not including doctor fees, for a thyroid procedure without complications, but costs can increase to $35,000 if complications occur.
  • The total cost of care[4] for metastatic thyroid cancer can reach $60,000 or more in the first year after the cancer was discovered to have spread, then about $35,000 the following year. This includes imaging, doctor visits, surgery, chemotherapy and hospitalizations.
Related articles: Hyperthyroidism Treatment, Hypothyroidism Treatment, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy

What should be included:
  • In many cases, surgery is recommended for thyroid cancer. Surgeries used to treat thyroid cancer include lobectomy, in which a lobe of the thyroid is removed, or thyroidectomy[5] , in which most or all of the thyroid is removed. In some cases, nearby lymph nodes might also be removed. The surgery typically requires general anesthesia and one to three days in the hospital.
  • In some cases, radioactive iodine[6] therapy will be required, usually after surgery. Thyroid cells, including the cancer cells, will absorb the radioactive iodine, which will destroy them, often without damaging other cells in the body. The treatment might require several days in the hospital in isolation.
  • has an overview of treatment[7] for thyroid cancer.
Additional costs:
  • After the thyroid is removed and/or destroyed by radioactive iodine, the patient will need to take a thyroid hormone replacement medication such as Levothyroxine[8] , which typically costs $15-$45 per month.
  • Many hospitals give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured patients or those who pay cash. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[9] in California offers a 35% discount.
  • Some states offer programs that provide free or discounted cancer treatment. For example, the Delaware Cancer Treatment Program[10] offers two years of free cancer treatment to uninsured Delaware residents who meet certain guidelines, including having a household income of less than 650% of the federal poverty level, or less than $134,225 for a family of four. The Cancer State Aid[11] program in Georgia reimburses cancer treatment facilities for providing care to qualifying uninsured or underinsured patients who have incomes at or below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines and have been accepted into the program.
  • The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition offers a financial assistance locator[12] by zip code or state.
Shopping for thyroid cancer treatment:
  • The American Society of Clinical Oncology offers an oncologist locator[13] by state. The National Cancer Institute has a search tool[14] for NCI-designated cancer centers.
  • WebMD offers a guide to cancer specialists[15] , and the National Cancer Institute offers a guide[16] to finding a doctor or cancer treatment facility.
  • offers a list of clinical trials for thyroid cancer[17] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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