Endocrine Tumor Program at Fred Hutch launches survivorship clinic

New clinic provides long-term care for thyroid tumors and endocrine immune-related adverse events

As cancer treatments improve, the population of cancer survivors grows. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center understands the need to support survivors with uniquely tailored follow-up care.

Recently developed by our Endocrine Tumor Program, a new survivorship clinic provides long-term follow-up care for patients with thyroid cancer. It also serves those with other cancer-related endocrine problems.

“We’ve always followed patients long term,” said endocrinologist Mara Roth, MD. “But having a dedicated clinic elevates these services and improves patients’ access to care.

Katherine Parikh, ARNP leads the clinic in collaboration with Endocrine Tumor Program physicians. “Having regular follow-up visits and a resource for questions or concerns often gives patients peace of mind,” said Parikh. “Studies show that survivorship care also improves patient outcomes.”

Katherine Parikh
Katherine Parikh, ARNP, Fred Hutch Fred Hutch file photo

Who needs endocrine survivorship care?

The Endocrine Tumor Program survivorship clinic provides longitudinal care for a range of endocrine-related conditions, including:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer: Papillary thyroid cancer accounts for about 80% of thyroid cancers. These tumors are usually slow growing and highly treatable but can return many years after treatment. The risk of recurrence varies based on the pathology of the cancer and is often unpredictable. Routine surveillance to detect recurrence is essential.
  • Endocrine immune-related adverse events (irAEs): Immunotherapy for other types of cancer can damage the endocrine system. Endocrine irAEs include immunotherapy-induced thyroiditis and hypophysitis. These conditions differ from their spontaneous endocrine disease analogs and often require a specialized management strategy.
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN1, MEN2, MEN4): Multiple endocrine neoplasia is a group of genetic conditions that causes cancer in one or more endocrine glands. We monitor people with MEN to find and treat cancer early.
  • Thyroid nodules: Thyroid nodules are often detected in the management of other cancers. Most thyroid nodules are benign and only rarely become cancerous, but they may require evaluation and surveillance.

“The care we provide varies from person to person depending on their condition and cancer history,” said Parikh. “We develop a customized plan for each patient that addresses their individual needs."

A team-based approach

Parikh is part of a team of endocrine tumor experts. This team includes endocrinologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists, molecular imaging and therapy specialists and pathologists.

“I work closely with the physicians, especially when developing care plans for complex or unusual cases,” said Parikh. “We also discuss challenging cases at our monthly tumor board meetings, which include the entire team. This collaboration helps ensure the best treatment plan for each patient.”

Cancer care doesn’t end after treatment

Patients’ needs change after cancer treatment, and often require long-term attention. Survivorship care involves surveillance for recurrent or new cancers. It also helps patients manage the lasting, recurring and delayed side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

The Endocrine Survivorship Clinic is an initiative at Fred Hutch to provide active surveillance and follow-up for distinct conditions. Our other clinics provide follow-up care for patients who have undergone blood and marrow transplantation and cellular immunotherapy treatment.

Fred Hutch also offers general survivorship care. The Survivorship Clinic is for those who have been treated for any type of cancer. Patients receive education and resources to:

  • Cope with long-term physical and emotional side effects
  • Prevent delayed side effects
  • Live a healthy lifestyle

Endocrine tumor care at Fred Hutch

The Fred Hutch Endocrine Tumor Program is the largest and most experienced in the Pacific Northwest. Patients receive comprehensive, personalized care and may be eligible for the latest promising therapies through our clinical trials.

Our Endocrine Survivorship Clinic is a service for patients treated at Fred Hutch.

To consult with a physician in our Endocrine Tumor Program, call 800.4UW.DOCS or explore our practitioner resources

For patient referrals, contact:

Phone: 206.606.1062
Fax: 206.606.5125
Email: pccneuro@fredhutch.org

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