• Chloe McElmury

Thyroid Cancer Acronyms you Should Know

Stepping into survivorship (or even just getting a thyroid cancer diagnosis) can bring a lot of new medical lingo into your life. Do you find yourself confused by TT, RAI, or TSH? Consult the list below to decode all of these acronyms and you'll be reading thyroid cancer news and lab reports like a pro!


  • TT: Total-thyroidectomy

  • TSH: Thyroid-stimulating hormone. This can show if you have too much or too little in your blood. High levels of TSH mean you aren't making enough of it, and low levels of TSH means you are making too much. This is what determines hypo or hyper thyroidism.

  • T3: Triiodothyronine. This is another thyroid hormone; can be measured as Free, Total, and Reverse T3.

  • T4: Thyroxine. Another thyroid hormone; can be measured as Free T4 and Total T4.

  • RAI: Radioactive Iodine. We use this term to refer to what you take for both an uptake scan, as well as a cancer treatment.

  • PEI: Percutaneous ethanol injection. This is sometimes used as a cancer treatment, as an alternative to surgery. It is often a cheaper option with a quicker recovery and surgery time.

  • LID: Low-iodine diet. Many thyroid cancer patients may go on LID for a short period of time in order to raise thyroid levels in preparation for an RAI uptake scan or treatment.

  • FNA: Fine needle aspiration. This is a type of biopsy where a teeny tiny needle is inserted into tissue to gather a sample to aid in a cancer diagnosis.

  • PTH: Parathyroid hormone. Hormone that regulates calcium levels.

  • WBS: Whole body scan.

©2019 by Thycan Survivors