What Is Thyroid Cancer?
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck. The thyroid makes and stores hormones that help regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and the rate at which the food is converted into energy. It also helps children grow and develop. It uses iodine a mineral found in foods we eat and also in iodized salt, to help make several of its hormones.
The thyroid cancer can be diagnosed and treated well during its early stage.
There are four major different types of thyroid cancer:
Papillary cancer – It develops in the cells that produce thyroid hormones containing iodine. The cancer develops and grows very slowly and forms a shape like mushroom patterns in the tumour. Doctors can treat this cancer even though the cancer cells from the tumour have spread to lymph nodes. It account for about 55 percent of all the thyroid types.
Follicular cancer – It also develops in the cells that produce thyroid hormones containing iodine. These tumours have a thin layer of tissues around them, called a capsule. Follicular cancer can be cured. However, may be difficult to treat if the tumour have spread to blood vessels through capsule into nearby structure in the neck. It account for about 16 percent of all the thyroid types.
Medullary cancer – Medullary affect thyroid cells that produce a hormone that does not have iodine. It grows slowly, and may be difficult to control than papillary and follicular cancer. The cancer can spread to the other parts of the body. Only 4 percent of all the thyroid cancer accounts for medullary.
Anaplastic cancer – The anaplastic cancer is faster growing of all the thyroid cancer. The cells which are extremely abnormal spread rapidly to the other parts of the body. It accounts for 17 per cent of all the thyroid cancer.
What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is a type of endocrine gland, which make hormones to regulate physiological functions in your body. The thyroid gland manufactures thyroid hormone, which regulates the rate at which your body carries on its necessary functions. The thyroid gland is necessary for life. It is located in the lower part of the neck.
What Causes Thyroid Cancer?
Doctors have no idea or do not know what causes thyroid cancer. However, it has been observer that it is more common in women than in men. The most common known risk factor is exposure to radiation during childhood. Radiation therapy is often used to treat acne, and to reduce the swelling. People who received radiation to the head and neck as children have a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer?
The most common symptom of thyroid cancer is a lump, or nodule, that can be felt in the neck. Other symptoms are rare, but may or may not relate to thyroid cancer. Pain is seldom could be the sign of thyroid cancer. However, a few patients have a tight or a feeling in the neck, difficulty in breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, or swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms can be caused by thyroid cancer or by other, less serious problems. If a person is experiencing symptoms, a doctor should be consulted for further diagnose and treatment of the cancer.
Can Thyroid Cancer be prevented?
Since most people with thyroid cancer have no known risk factors, it is very difficult to prevent or detect most cases of thyroid cancer.
Can Thyroid Cancer be treated?
Surgery – Surgery is the most common form of treatment for thyroid cancer that has not spread to distant parts of the body. The surgeon usually removes part of thyroid and any other affected tissue, such as lymph nodes.
Radiation therapy – (also called radiotherapy) is the use of high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells.
Chemotherapy – is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells.
- Each year in the U.S.A. there are about 15,600 people diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
- About 1,200 people die from it each year in the United States.
- Women are affected about three times more than men.
- Thyroid cancer is more common in people of Asian descent.