Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer which grows in the thyroid gland like all other cancers it starts when cells begin to grow out of control. Females are more likely to have this cancer as compared to men at a ratio of 3:1. Thyroid cancer can occur in any age group, however, it is most common after the age of 30 and its aggressiveness increases in older patients. So be aware of the early signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer and don’t avoid any of these.
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What is the Function of Thyroid Cancer?
The thyroid gland produces hormones which regulate the heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and weight. It is a butterfly-shaped gland which is located at the base of the neck, just below Adam’s apple. Like any other cells inside your body, the thyroid gland cells have the potential to become cancerous.
What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer?
If you have any of these early signs or symptoms of thyroid cancer, then you should talk to your doctor without delay. Many of these signs or symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions or even other cancers related to the neck area. Symptoms of thyroid cancer are not obvious. So it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your thyroid gland, like:
- Unusual bumps or nodules, on your neck
- Persistent changes in voice changes or hoarseness
- Unexplained cough
- Pain in the throat or neck
- Sensitivity inside the neck
Anyone who has had prior radiation to the neck can be at high risk for thyroid cancer and needs to be particularly aware of these signs.
What are the Types of Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer is the tenth most common type of cancer. It can be classified according to the appearance of the cancerous cells. Cancerous cells which look like healthy cells are known as well-differentiated cells. Well-differentiated cells grow at a slower rate as compared to undifferentiated cells.
Papillary Thyroid Cancer. This is the most common type of thyroid cancer, it arises from follicular cells, which is used to produce and store thyroid hormones. This cancer can occur at any age, but most usually it affects people of ages 30 to 50.
Follicular Thyroid Cancer. It also arises from the follicular cells of the thyroid. Follicular Thyroid Cancer usually affects people who are older than age 50. It is a rare and potentially more aggressive type of thyroid cancer.
Medullary Thyroid Cancer. Medullary thyroid cancer begins in thyroid cells which are known as C cells, it produces the hormone calcitonin. Elevated levels of calcitonin in the blood can refer to medullary thyroid cancer at a very initial stage. Certain genetic syndromes increase the risk of this cancer.
Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. It is a rare and rapidly growing cancer which is very difficult to treat. This cancer typically occurs in adults of age 60 and older.
Thyroid lymphoma. It is a rare form of thyroid cancer which begins in the immune system cells in the thyroid glands and grows very fast. This cancer typically occurs in older adults.
What are the Risk Factors of Thyroid Cancer?
Here are some factors which can increase the risk of thyroid cancer includes:
Female sex. It occurs more often in women as compare in men.
Exposure to high levels of radiation. Exposure to high levels of radiation includes radiation treatments to the neck and head and fallout from sources like weapons testing or nuclear power plant accidents.
Certain Inherited Genetic Syndromes. Genetic syndromes which increase the risk of cancer in the thyroid cells include multiple endocrine neoplasias and familial medullary thyroid cancer.
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Treatment of thyroid cancer
The treatment of thyroid cancer will depend on what type of cancer you have.
Most people undergo surgical removal of all or some part of the thyroid gland. The removal of thyroid gland removes your body’s ability to produce normal thyroid hormones. Oral supplements can replace these thyroid hormones.
Other treatments also include:
External beam radiation therapy
In the end, it is recommended that you should not ignore any of the symptoms of thyroid cancer. However, all the symptoms are not just only due to cancer. But you should consult the doctor and go for the regular checkup.
About Dr. Keshav Kumar: Doctor Keshav Kumar is a well-known Diabetologist of Delhi/ NCR. If you are dealing with diabetes or find any symptoms then you can book a free online appointment to consult the doctor.
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