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Thyroid Cancer Disease

Before we talk about thyroid cancer, let we see what is thyroid it self. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located on the anterior aspect (front) of the neck, just above your collarbone. It has two kinds of cells that make hormones. A healthy thyroid is a little larger than a quarter. If the thyroid became swollen (Goiters), it is may caused by not enough iodine in the diet.

You should go to the doctor if you have a lump or swelling in your neck, especially if these condition growth slowly month by month or event years. May be it is a mass of abnormally growing cells (Tumors Thyroid). Tumors can be either benign (cells from benign nodules do not spread to other parts of the body) or malignant (called cancer when these tumor cells gain the propensity to invade tissues and spread locally as well as to distant parts of the body).

According to the National Cancer Institute, There are about 37,000 new cases of thyroid cancer disease each year in the US. Thyroid cancer can occur in any age group, But certain factors may increase the risk such as :
  • Ages between 25 to 65
  • Females are more likely to have thyroid cancer
  • Asian People
  • Having a family history who has had thyroid cancer disease
  • Received radiation treatments on the head or neck.


Causes of Thyroid Cancer :

The exact cause of thyroid cancer is not known, But there are some Predisposing factors include ; Radiation therapy and the effects of nuclear exposure, family history of thyroid cancer, prolonged thyroid stimulating hormone exposure, and chronic goiter.


Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer :

Thyroid cancer typically doesn't cause any signs or symptoms in early disease. Occasionally, people who has thyroid cancer may develop symptoms such as ;
  • Hoarseness (difficulty speaking in a normal voice),
  • Pain in the throat or neck,
  • Swollen lymph nodes (especially in the neck),
  • And Difficulty swallowing or breathing.

These symptoms are not sure signs of thyroid cancer disease, because on some people with infection thyroid or another problem also could cause these symptoms.


Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer :

Doctor may use your information like medical history, signs and symptoms to diagnose most thyroid cancers. They will do physical exam (palpation of your thyroid to feel for enlargement and lumps) and also several tests to learn the size and location of a thyroid nodule or to help determine if a lump is benign, meaning not cancerous, or malignant, meaning cancerous.

Diagnosis test for Thyroid Cancer are blood tests, and imaging (Chest x-ray, Ultrasound, Computed tomography/CT scan, and Magnetic resonance imaging/MRI) and biopsies to diagnose thyroid cancer (studying tissue samples under a microscope). Blood tests cannot diagnose thyroid cancer disease, However, tests of blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) may be used to check the overall activity of your thyroid gland for for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.


Complication of Thyroid Cancer :

Patients with very advanced thyroid cancer may develop any of the following complications such as Pleural effusion, Pericardial effusion, Spinal cord compression, Bone metastasis, High Calcium level and Pain. Remember! Despite treatment, thyroid cancer can return if microscopic cancer cells spread beyond the thyroid before the thyroid removed.


Treatment of Thyroid Cancer :

Patients who has diagnosed as Thyroid Cancer, they will get treatment option depend on these category ; Age of the patient, Type of thyroid cancer, tage of the cancer, General condition, Is there any multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B (MEN 2B), new case or return cancer.


Most people with thyroid cancer undergo surgery to remove all or most of the thyroid. Lobectomy is surgery procedure where the medical team will remove only the affected side of the thyroid gland, this action mostly consider to the patient with thyroid cancer stadium/stage I.

Thyroidectomy is surgery procedure that removing all or total microscopic examination of nearby lymph nodes. But in most cases, the surgeon leaves small rims of thyroid tissue around the parathyroid glands to reduce the risk of parathyroid damage. This treatment used on thyroid cancer stadium/stage II - IV.

After thyroid cancer surgery done, the doctor will give you medication as thyroid hormone : levothyroxine (Levothroid, Synthroid, others) for life. They will suggest you to check your thyroid hormone levels every few months, in order to finds correct or proper dosage of your medicine.

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posted by Cancer Disease @ 13.10.09, ,