Thyroid Cancer Symptoms – Types, Causes, and Treatment Overview

Thyroid cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the thyroid gland. Thyroid is basically a butterfly-shaped small gland located below Adam’s apple in the neck. It is brownish-red in color and rich in blood vessels. If there any thyroid cancer symptoms, doctor will feel the patient’s thyroid and check for lumps in the neck, and may order blood tests and special scans as an initial test.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms – Types, Cause and Treatment Overview
Thyroid Cancer Symptoms (Thyroid cancer is more common in women as compared to men)

The thyroid also controls voice quality because nerves important for voice quality also pass through the thyroid. The thyroid gland produces and secretes thyroid hormones which help in regulating growth and maintaining body temperature and heartbeat.

What is Thyroid Cancer?

Cancer is a disease of cell abnormality. Our body is made up of millions of tiny cells. Cells are for different functionality and cause different types of cancer. In cancer, body cells are multiply abnormally and form tumors in any one or multiple parts of the body. When abnormal cells begin to grow and multiply in the thyroid gland then it is called Thyroid Cancer Disease. There are four types of thyroid cancer disease.

Types of Thyroid Cancer Disease

Papillary: This is the most common type of thyroid cancer. About 87% of thyroid cancer people have this type.

Follicular: This is also a common type but less common than the Papillary type. This affects older-aged peoples. About 9% of thyroid cancer people have this type.

Medullary: This is a rare type of thyroid cancer and about 2% of people with thyroid cancer have this type. This type is beginning to start in the C cell and grow slowly. It can also be treated easily if found in an early stage.

Anaplastic: This type of thyroid cancer is also rare and affects older people. This type does not take much time to grow i.e. cancer cells grow quickly and sometimes it is also difficult to treat this cancer type.

What Causes Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms – Types, Causes and Treatment Overview
Thyroid Cancer Symptoms – Types, Causes, and Treatment Overview

Thyroid cancer is linked with a number of factors but no one known the exact cause of thyroid cancer diseases. Thyroid cancer occurs due to cell abnormality in your thyroid that undergoes genetic change like mutation which allows cells to grow and multiply. But the exact cause of cell abnormality is unclear. Here we are going to share some risk factors that may likely to develop thyroid cancer symptoms.

Radiation: Exposure to radiation like radiation during any medical treatment, radiation from any power plant, or any radioactive radiation is a proven risk factor for thyroid cancer.

Gender: Thyroid cancer diseases more likely to occur in women than that in men. The risk factor of thyroid cancer in women is three times that of men.

Family History: Inheriting abnormal gene may also result in Medullary thyroid cancer. Around one people out of four with medullary thyroid cancer diseases have abnormal genes.

Low Iodine Food: A diet low in iodine increase may also increase the risk of follicular type thyroid cancer.

Age: Thyroid cancer can occur at any age but it occurs earlier in women than that in men i.e. thyroid cancer more likely to occur at the age of 40-50 while that in men it occurs usually at the age of 60-70.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

Thyroid cancer symptoms are very common which can be easily noticed but normally we do not care about that and usually goes unnoticed as we misunderstood these with other diseases. Here we are going to share some symptoms of thyroid cancer.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms
Thyroid Cancer Symptoms
  • The main and most important symptom of thyroid cancer is a lump and swelling in your neck just below Adam’s apple (This is painless).
  • Pain or discomfort in front of your neck and sometimes in your ear.
  • Change in voice or your voice becomes hoarse.
  • You may trouble in breathing and swallowing.
  • A chronic cough problem that is not related to any type of cold condition.

How is Thyroid Cancer Treated?

There are four types of treatment for curing thyroid cancer diseases.

Surgery is the most common treatment to remove part of the thyroid gland that causes or contains thyroid cancer. A doctor may remove cancer using one of the following operations,

  1. Lobectomy
  2. Near-total thyroidectomy
  3. Total thyroidectomy
  4. Lymph node dissection

Hormone therapy: This therapy use hormones that stop cancer cells from growing.

Chemotherapy: If thyroid cancer is in an advanced stage, chemotherapy is used as an initial treatment. This therapy uses drugs or put into vein or muscles using a small needle to kill cancer cells.

Radioactive iodine and Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses X-rays to kill any tissue or cancer cell. While radioactive iodine therapy is used after surgery to kill any tissue or cancer cell that is left after surgery.

If you noticed any thyroid cancer symptoms, consult with your doctor or surgeon, depending on the type and stage of your thyroid cancer doctor take a decision about treatment. Many of these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions, lumps in the thyroid are common and usually begin, please see your doctor as soon as possible.

Published: 05/17/2015
Last Medical Review: 02/29/2016

For more info, visit NHS, Cancer of Thyroid

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