All About Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer

What is Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer is cancer that affects the thyroid gland (a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck and produces hormones that control many bodily functions).

It occurs when cells in the thyroid grow out of control and form a mass or tumor. Depending on the type of thyroid cancer, the tumor may be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

1. A lump or swelling in the neck that can be felt

2. Difficulty swallowing

3. Pain in the throat or neck

4. Hoarseness or changes in the voice

5. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

6. Unexplained weight loss and fatigue

7. Increase in the size of the thyroid gland

8. Coughing up blood

9. Unexplained sweating

6 Major Risk Factors of Thyroid Cancer

  • Exposure to radiation
  • Age (40 years or more)
  • Gender (more in women)]
  • Family history
  • Goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland)
  • Exposure to certain chemicals and environmental pollutants

Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer

  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound scan
  • CT or MRI scan
  • Biopsy

Depending on the results of these tests, further tests or treatments may be recommended.

Treatment Options for Thyroid Cancer

  • Surgery to remove part or the entire thyroid gland
  • Radioactive iodine to target and kill remaining cancer cells
  • External beam radiation therapy to target and kill remaining cancer cells
  • Thyroid hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy

Prevention of Thyroid Cancer

  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Avoid overexposure to environmental toxins
  • Get regular checkups
  • Exercise regularly
  • Monitor any thyroid-related symptoms such as a lump in the neck, hoarseness, or difficulty swallowing.

Fast Facts on Thyroid Cancer

  • It is the most common type of endocrine cancer
  • It is more common in women than men (3:1)
  • The average age of diagnosis is 45-54 years
  • Papillary and follicular types of thyroid cancer are the most common, accounting for about 90-95%
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to a cure rate of up to 98%

Early detection and timely treatment are vital in the battle against thyroid cancer, offering hope for improved outcomes and a brighter future for patients.