Thyroid Cancer

What Is Thyroid Cancer ?

Thyroid cancer is formed in the Thyroid gland of the body, this is located at the lower end of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. This Thyroid gland is responsible for the production of hormones which in turn help regulate the temperature of the body, the weight of the body, blood pressure and heart rate.

The Thyroid gland absorbs iodine from the bloodstream to produce Thyroid hormones, which regulate a person’s metabolism. At a later point of stage, when Thyroid cancer has grown in size, it can cause pain and swelling in the neck.

Types Of Thyroid Cancer

There are 5 main types of thyroid cancer:

Papillary Thyroid Cancer It is the most common type of thyroid cancer. 80% of all thyroid cancer cases are of this type.Papillarythyroid cancer develops from follicular cells and usually grows slowly but it does tend to spread to the lymph nodes in the neck. However, the chance of recovery is quite high.

Follicular Thyroid Cancer Follicular thyroid cancer also develops from follicular cells and usually grows slowly. Follicular thyroid cancer is also a differentiated thyroid cancer, but it is far less common than papillary thyroid cancer. Follicular thyroid cancer rarely spreads to lymph nodes. Follicular thyroid cancer and papillary thyroid cancer are the most common differentiated thyroid cancer. They are very often curable, especially when found early and in people younger than 50. Together, follicular and papillary thyroid cancer make up about 95% of all thyroid cancer.

Hurthle cell Cancer Hurthle cell cancer are much more likely to spread to lymph nodes than other follicular thyroid cancer.

Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC) MTC accounts for about 3% of all thyroid cancer. About 25% of all MTC is familial. This means that family members of the patient will have a possibility of a similar diagnosis. This type of cancer is usually detected at an early stage because this tends to release a particular hormone called calcitonin which is detectable in a blood test.

Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer This type is rare, accounting for about 1% of thyroid cancer. This is the most aggressive kind of thyroid cancer.

What Are The Risk Factors For Thyroid Cancer ?

Gender: thyroid cancer is more common in women than in men. Radiation: High levels of radiation to the head or neck area increases the chances of thyroid cancer. Genetics: Few genetic syndromes and family history of thyroid cancer can increase your risk.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer ?

Sometimes, people with thyroid cancer do not have any of the signs and symptoms described below. Or, the cause of a symptom or sign may be a medical condition that is not cancer.

  • A lump in the front of the neck, near the Adam's apple
  • Hoarseness
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in the throat or neck
  • A cough that persists and is not caused by a cold.

Diagnosis Of Thyroid Cancer.

A set of investigations along with a thorough physical evaluation and medical history can help detect the presence of thyroid cancer. Diagnostic tests could include:

  • Ultrasound
  • FNAC/ Biopsy
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Blood hormone tests
  • Blood tests
  • CT Scan

Treatment For Thyroid Cancer

Based on the cancer type and the stage, treatment plan could include:

  • Surgery
  • Radioactive iodine therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Thyroid hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Immunotherapy