Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer

Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of the present day and quite several people suffer from various kinds of carcinogenic diseases. Though there are modern technologies and enough advancements in medical sciences that allow a proper and successful treatment for different kinds of carcinogenic diseases in recent times, there are still cases, where doctors fail to provide treatment due to the severity of the cancer stage patient seems to suffer. So, it is quite essential to know what cancer might feel like and be cautious about its development in the body so that anyone can seek professional help before it gets too difficult to treat.

What Is Thyroid Cancer?

There is a gland known as the thyroid gland that is present around your neck on either side of the throat. This is an important gland and a major of the endocrine system of the body that helps in the proper metabolism of the body and helps in the secretion of hormones such as thyroxine and vasopressin that control the level of oxygen in your blood, maintain proper heart rate, body weight, the blood pressure levels, and also provides the body with enough amount of energy and synthesizes heat inside the body to keep the body warm and in optimum temperature. But sometimes the cells of this organ or in its surrounding areas show abnormal division and growth that leads to the development of cancer. This case happens due to improper genetic mutation and recombination inside the thyroid gland which leads to a fatal condition of thyroid cancer. Though thyroid cancer is easily treatable, it should be detected in the early stage to get proper treatment.According to recent studies and experimental research it has been found that thyroid cancer is one of the most commonly developed cancers among cancer patients and this type of cancer can potentially spread from the thyroid gland to the other surrounding regions of the body.

Thyroid Cancer

While thyroid cancer can affect anyone, it occurs in women almost three times more than in men. According to recent studies and statistical research it has been found that women are thrice more vulnerable than men to suffer from thyroid cancer; in fact, it has also been proven and statistically found that thyroid cancer is the fifth most common cancer that is found to occur among most people.

Nowadays, recent studies and experimental research are claiming that people who are more exposed to chemicals and harmful radiation, such as X- rays or gamma radiation are at greater risks of developing thyroid cancer than others, particularly teenagers and women of younger age.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer, like many other types of cancers, may not show prior symptoms. In fact, in most cases, the symptoms of thyroid cancer resemble those of many other diseases, for which it becomes hard to detect the disease. The symptoms of thyroid cancer vary from one person to the other, yet there are certain common symptoms of thyroid cancer that is necessary to know. Some very common symptoms of thyroid cancer can be listed here as follows:

  • The very first symptom is a development of a lump or tumor in your throat.
  • Mild to severe pain in the neck that might travel into the ears.
  • Swelling in the neck.
  • Sudden changes in the voice, which might become permanent.
  • Breathlessness or problems with breathing.
  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing food.
  • Voice changes that don’t go away.
  • Continuous coughing.

Possible Causes of Thyroid Cancer

Two main reasons are responsible for the occurrence of any kind of thyroid-related disease.

  • Hyperthyroidism: When the thyroid gland secretes too much thyroxine hormone.
  • Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland secretes too less amount of the hormone.

The other possible causes might be a lack of iodine, an important element that is important for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland, irregular lifestyle, and so on.

Types Of Thyroid Cancer

There are several kinds of thyroid cancer, but the ones that are most commonly found are as follows:

Papillary Thyroid cancer

Papillary thyroid cancer is the most usual kind of thyroid cancer that is found to occur among most people. This cancer grows slowly, and it is deadly enough when it starts spreading from the tumor to the surrounding lymph nodes. But this type of thyroid cancer is easily treatable once detected at the early stage.

Follicular thyroid cancer (FTC)

According to recent studies and experimental research, it has been found that Follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) is the second most variation of thyroid cancer that occurs in people who have a lack of iodine content in their body. This type of cancer can also spread into the other parts of the body when treated at a later stage.

Sporadic medullary thyroid cancer

Sporadic medullary thyroid cancer or MTC is another kind of thyroid cancer that are mainly found among adults and this type can be easily treated. MTC thyroid cancer primarily occurs when these are affected by the C cells thyroid gland but does not lead to a fatal condition.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer

Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the most deadly kind of thyroid cancer which usually affects most of the surrounding cells and lymph nodes and affects almost all the cells and lymph nodes that remain surrounding the thyroid gland. Though this type of cancer is rare in occurrence when it is found to occur, it is usually detected late and by that time the condition turns out to be lethal because metastasis or spreading of the cancer cells to the other parts of the body already begins, some other organs might start getting damaged and it will become quite difficult to treat such a condition.

Procedures For Diagnosing Thyroid Cancer

Certain techniques and procedures are usually followed by oncologists and health care experts to treat and diagnose thyroid cancer. Some of those procedures are listed below:

  • A fine needle or core biopsy
  • Thyroid function test
  • Necessary blood tests to check thyroid secretion and thyroid levels
  • Thyroid ultrasound
  • CT and MRI scans
  • Thyroid scan

Treatment Procedures for Thyroid Cancer

Many methods are followed for the treatment of thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that can be treated easily. Here are the ways and methods that are usually followed for the treatment of thyroid cancer:

Surgery

Surgery is the most commonly used method for the treatment of thyroid cancer. By surgery, either the cells and the portion of the thyroid gland that has been affected by the cancer are removed, or in severe cases, the entire gland might have to be removed. If any surrounding portion or any lymph node gets affected by then cancer, then those are removed too. But the removal of the thyroid gland through surgery might affect the secretion of hormones that are essential for your body. In such cases, the concerned physicians will advise the patient to use hormone supplements.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is an effective way that is used to treat thyroid cancer where an external beam of the light wave is used that is made to fall on the thyroid gland. This external light ray helps to get rid of the cancer cells in the thyroid gland.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is one of the most commonly used procedures to treat any kind of cancer at any stage of severity and thyroid cancer is no exception. Oncologists and health care experts use a certain kind of drug that is required for the patient that is applied into the vein or taken orally. The drug that is injected or consumed helps to reduce the growth of cancer cells.

Targeted drug therapy

Targeted drug therapy is the most advanced treatment for thyroid cancer that uses a class of drugs known as kinase inhibitors and treats cancer by checking the growth of the lump or tumor on the neck, damaging the growth and spreading of the cancer cells. This also helps in the growth of new blood vessels and destroys the cancer-infected cells.

Complications Related to Thyroid Cancer

There can be several types of complications that might occur with the treatment process of thyroid cancer. The oncologist might recommend surgery or removal of the thyroid gland in many severe cases, but those procedures too can bring a lot of complications and side effects along with them. Undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy might seem fruitful for treating thyroid cancer but can also lead to several adverse effects, such as hormonal problems, lack of energy, and so on.

There might be a good number of risk factors and complications that might occur from thyroid cancer. Some such risks are as follows:

  • The voice may become hoarse and change permanently if by any chance the nerves in the vocal cord or the voice box get damaged.
  • Hypocalcemia might occur if the parathyroid glands are infected anyway.

Some questions that are frequently asked:

Q. How successful is thyroid cancer treatment in India?

Ans. In India, thyroid cancer treatment has been 98% successful among patients of younger ages and those who are below 50 years.

Q. Which method of treatment is the best for thyroid cancer treatment?

Ans. Surgery and chemotherapy are the best methods of treating thyroid cancer, but your health care expert is the right one to recommend which one is the best for you.

Q. What will happen to my voice after the thyroid cancer surgery?

Ans. In mild cases, you are not supposed to lose your voice, but if any nerve or any region in your voice box gets damaged by the cancer, you might have a permanent hoarseness.

Q. How fast will I recover after surgery?

Ans. The fastness of recovery after surgery and treatment of thyroid cancer depends entirely upon the state of your health and the seriousness of the disease.

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