Thyroid Cancer facts
Thyroid cancer is a cancer that instigates from the thyroid gland. A ratio of three is to one is said to be the approximate figure of people suffering from this kind of cancer specifically women. This kind of disease affects all age group, but it is mostly apparent on older people ages 30 years and above.
The thyroid is a butterfly-like shape found in front of the neck with two lobes. A person with a healthy thyroid is seen visibly by the shape itself which is a little bigger than a quarter. Conversely, a swollen thyroid with a lump beneath the voice box or the larynx is an indication that something’s wrong with the thyroid.
The emergence of cancer happens the moment new cells form when they’re not needed and old cells that’s suppose to die still lingers in the body. When these extra cells multiply and increase in a mass of tissue, nodules are formed. These nodules are also known as the tumor or cancer in the thyroid. Nodules are characterized as benign and malignant nodule. If it is benign, this is considered not cancerous and do not have the ability to spread to other neighboring tissues. On the other hand, malignant nodules are cancerous and they are often those that are life-threatening and can spread in different systems of the body quickly.
Types and Forms
Here are the types of thyroid cancer:
- Papillary and Follicular Thyroid Cancers – This is the most common among other types of cancer in the thyroid. The follicular cells do not grow rapidly, therefore, chances of curing this kind of cancer is possible particularly if it’s discovered at an early stage.
- Medullary Thyroid Growth – This type of cancer starts at the C cells, contrary with that of the papillary. This is a kind of thyroid tumor that can be easily treated especially on primary stages before it could bring danger to the other cells and tissues in the body.
- Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer – This is the rarest of all kinds of cancer in the thyroid wherein only 1 to 2 percent are known to be recorded cases in the world. Recognition of this kind of disease is a bit complex with very minor symptoms apparent. This is considered fatal since cancer cells grow rapidly and spread quickly.
In the early stages of this cancer, warning signs may not be as visible once diagnosed. Here are some of the possible warning indicators:
- A visible lamp is seen in the base of the Adam’s apple.
- Since the voice box or the larynx is affected, difficulty in speaking the natural voice is one of the main problems.
- Consistent pain and sensation in the neck area.
- Inflamed and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck region are noticeable.
- Patients normally endure grasping for air as they begin to experience difficulty in breathing and in swallowing food portions.
Like other kinds of cancer, the causes of thyroid growth remain to be unknown. Medical professionals made certain that this is a kind of disease that is not contagious and something that cannot be passed through physical contact. In this regard, what is seen as a good aspect to put basis on is on the risk factors. These factors are the ones which increases the probabilities of why such disease occurred in the first place.
Radiation – Repeated exposure to dental x-rays can lead to follicular thyroid growth. Another thing to consider is the radioactive fallout. If you are frequently exposed to nuclear power plants and production plants, there are substances which are harmful to ones health that can lead to the possibilities of acquiring thyroid disease.
Inadequate supply of iodine in the diet – Iodine is one component that is needed by the body to thwart the probabilities of this disease. The thyroid necessitates the supply of iodine to produce thyroid hormone. And if this is not part of ones diet, cancer is likely to transpire. Since the introduction of iodized salt, this cause has been almost entirely diminished in the U.S.
Family history – The altered RET gene is said to be the ones responsible in the formation of such disease. In some cases, a medical recommendation of going through lab tests will help a patient act on the possible existence of cancer in the thyroid and have it removed.
The age and gender – If you’re a female with an age of 40 years old and above, a possible development of this kind of cancer is possible.
Treatment for thyroid cancer depends on the status of the cancer of a particular patient. Here are some of the options deemed suitable:
Surgery – This is the known and most common medical procedure for thyroid growth. There are two processes involved; one is the total thyroidectomy or the removal of the entire thyroid. Surgeons who found other cancer cells in other parts of the body often remove the tissues in the affected area. The second option may be a Lobectomy. A procedure in which the lobe is removed specifically if it the nodules are already cancerous. In some cases, part of the thyroid and some lymph nodes and tissues are also being removed to achieve optimal results.
Radioactive iodine therapy – This type of medical procedure mainly uses radioactive iodine taken orally. Small dosage is the standard requisite for this kind of treatment and this type of procedure is known to help kill cancer cells in the thyroid region.
Hormone treatment – This is a kind of procedure used to be followed up after surgery. These are thyroid hormone pills mainly targeting possible recurrence of the disease.