Initially, thyroid cancer might not cause any symptoms. But during the later stages, it may cause signs and symptoms like swelling in your neck, difficulty swallowing, and voice changes. There are various types of thyroid cancer exist. Most varieties grow slowly, though some can be very aggressive and life-threatening. Most thyroid can be successfully treated and cured.
About Thyroid Cancer
Cancer occurs when cells in a particular body area begin to grow uncontrollably. When cancer occurs in the thyroid gland, it is called thyroid cancer. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located just below Adam’s apple, at the base of the neck. The thyroid gland excretes hormones that regulate body temperature, weight, heart rate, and blood pressure. There are four kinds of this cancer. These are papillary, medullary, follicular, and anaplastic. Among these four, Papillary is the most common type. These four types of cancer are different in terms of aggression. (Source & Reference)
Causes of Thyroid Cancer
it is linked with several inherited conditions, but the exact cause of most thyroid cancers is still unknown. Researchers have found that thyroid cancer happens when thyroid gland cells develop changes in their DNA. A cell’s DNA contains the instructions that tell the cell what to do. These changes, researchers call mutations, instruct the cells to grow and multiply rapidly. The cells accumulate and eventually take a form of a tumor. Changes in oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes can lead to cells growing out of control. Some people inherit DNA mutations from their parents that significantly increase their risk for thyroid cancer.
- Thyroid cancer is common in females. Researchers think the estrogen hormone may cause it. As female has higher estrogen level than men, they are at higher risk of cancer.
- Hereditary conditions like Medullary thyroid cancer, Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Cowden disease, Carney complex (type I), and Familial no medullary thyroid carcinoma can increase the risk of cancer.
- If you have a family or personal history of thyroid cancer, your chances of getting thyroid cancer will be consistently higher.
- If you have had radiation in the past, especially around your neck area, you might get cancer.
- Being overweight or obese is also a prominent risk factor for cancer
It has several signs and symptoms; if you are experiencing any one or multiple following symptoms, Kindly contact your medical specialist immediately:
- If you have felt any lump or swelling on the side of your neck, this could be a sign of cancer. As the cancerous tumor would cause swelling in your thyroid gland. Some other conditions could also cause neck swelling; without panicking, contact your doctor to get diagnosed and treated correctly.
- If you have been experiencing breathing trouble for a long time, immediately see a doctor. As breathing trouble is a significant symptom of this cancer.
- Difficulty swallowing and heavy voice both are very prominent cancer symptoms.
If you are experiencing symptoms, You will need more tests and scans to check for this cancer if the general physician refers you to a specialist. First, there will be medical history check and physical examination. After that below-mentioned tests will be required to detect any cancerous development in your liver-
Imaging tests will be done first to check a detailed image of the thyroid gland to detect any trace of cancerous growth:
- Radioiodine scan
- Chest x-ray
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
- Biopsy: The main diagnosis of this cancer is made through biopsy, where sample cells will be taken from the thyroid gland to identify any abnormal cells.
- Blood tests mentioned below are not used for direct diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Blood tests will help to understand if the thyroid gland is usually working.
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
- T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones)
- Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
- Vocal cord exam (laryngoscopy) checks if the vocal chord is healthy and working normally. If a person has thyroid cancer, their vocal cord will get damaged due to the cancerous tumor.
To prevent this cancer, avoid redundant exposure to radiation, including radiation from different types of the medical image screening process, especially in young children and around their heads and neck.
- Over the years, it rates seem to have increased. The increase may be due to advanced imaging technology that allows healthcare providers to accidentally discover thyroid cancers during CT and MRI scans for other conditions or diseases. Thyroid cancers found in this way are usually early-stage cancers that respond well to treatments.
- It is usually detected younger than most kinds of adult cancers. Women are more likely to develop cancer in their Thyroid gland. Studies show 2,230 deaths from this cancer, out of which 1,070 are men, and 1,160 are women.
- After breast cancer, thyroid cancer is the second most common cancer among women aged 35 and 60.