What is Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid gland, which is a small butterfly-shaped organ at the base of the throat. Thyroid cancer does not always have symptoms until the thyroid becomes quite enlarged and swollen.
There are several forms of thyroid cancer, and your specialist will diagnose this for you. Luckily most of them can be successfully treated.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of thyroid cancer? – these are also present in many non-cancerous thyroid presentations, so medical diagnosis and testing is essential;
- A lump (nodule) that can be felt through the skin on your neck
- Changes to voice, including increasing hoarseness
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain in the neck and throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
*Information supplied is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. Refer to your medical professional.
What are the Types of Thyroid Cancer?
Papillary thyroid cancer – Most common in ages 30 – 50. The most common form of thyroid cancer, papillary thyroid cancer arises from follicular cells, which produce and store thyroid hormones.
Follicular thyroid cancer. Follicular thyroid cancer usually affects people older than age 50. Hurthle cell cancer is a rare and potentially more aggressive type of follicular thyroid cancer.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a rare type of thyroid cancer that grows rapidly and is difficult to treat. Anaplastic thyroid cancer typically occurs in adults age 60 and over.
Medullary thyroid cancer. Medullary thyroid cancer begins in thyroid cells called C cells, where the hormone calcitonin is produced. Elevated levels of calcitonin in the blood can indicate very early stage medullary cancer.
Other rare types include thyroid lymphoma, which begins in the immune system cells of the thyroid, and thyroid sarcoma, which begins in the connective tissue cells of the thyroid.
Factors that increase risk of developing thyroid cancer are:
- a history of radiation exposure to the head and neck as a child.
- exposure to radioactive fallout
- family history of thyroid cancer in a first-degree relative
At The Lucy Rose Clinic, we focus on reversing early signs of thyroid disease by correcting the health and function of the body. Functional screening picks up the subtle changes and guides a treatment that is aimed at correcting dysfunction with a holistic approach.
Read more on prevention:
Surgery (i.e., total or partial thyroidectomy, with or without lymphadenectomy) is the main treatment for thyroid cancer. Additional treatment, including radioactive iodine therapy, may be indicated, depending on postoperative disease status, tumor stage, and type of thyroid cancer. External-beam radiation therapy and chemotherapy are not generally used to treat early-stage, differentiated thyroid cancer. (2)