Not a very common type of cancer, thyroid is a cancer of the thyroid gland, which is located in the front of the neck. The thyroid gland produces hormones which regulate normal body, heart rate blood pressure, body temperature and weight.
There are various types of thyroid cancer
- Papillary thyroid cancer– Found mostly between people aged between 30-50 years of age.
- Follicular thyroid cancer– Found among people of 50 years of age or above.
- Medullary thyroid cancer– Its due to genetic cause and has cancer in other glands as well.
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer– Commonly found in people above 60 years of age. Its an aggressive cancer.
Thyroid cancer is mainly seen in women rather then men. Thyroid gland lies in the lower part of the neck. For proper functioning of thyroid gland we need iodine, which we get from food.
Symptoms of thyroid cancer
Thyroid cancer develops very slowly and usually shows no symptoms in its early stages. Some symptoms include;
- A small lump in the neck shows up, which is painless in the initial period.
- As the lump grows, pain in neck and throat can increase.
- Hoarseness or problem speaking with a normal voice.
- Breathing difficulties may come up.
- The thyroid may be hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Thyroid cancer is diagnosed through blood test, fine needle aspiration cytology( biopsy), Imaging scans( CT or MRI scans)
If early stage of this cancer, it is curable through surgery, radioactive iodine and radiotherapy.
- Surgery: surgery is a little risky treatment as it can affect the vocal cords of the patient. There may be breathing difficulties. The patient may also go through pain and difficulty in swallowing.
- Thyroid hormone therapy: there is a possibility of removal of thyroid gland completely or partially and the patient will have to take replacement hormone tablets for the rest of his life and regular blood test will be needed
- Radioactive iodine: for preventing thyroid cancer to reoccur, radioactive iodine therapy is needed which is a successor of surgery. This treatment includes strict diet of low- iodine.d