Thyroid Cancer is the most common type of endocrine cancer. Thyroid Cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid—a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is a part of the endocrine system and the endocrine system produces hormones that regulate the normal functions of the body. Although early Thyroid Cancer has no symptoms but as the cancer progresses, the following symptoms may occurs such as a lump in the throat, cough, hoarseness, pain in the throat and neck, difficulty swallowing and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
HOW IS THYROID CANCER DIAGNOSED?
The condition can be easily diagnosed by a general physician by a thorough physical examination. A laryngoscopy is suggested for definitive diagnosis. A CT scan or an ultrasound may also be advised. You may also have blood tests to check the levels of your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), serum calcitonin, or carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).
HOW IS THYROID CANCER TREATED?
Treatment for thyroid cancer depends on the type of thyroid cancer you have and how far it has spread.
The main treatments are:
• a thyroidectomy – surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid
• radioactive iodine treatment – you swallow a radioactive substance that travels through your blood and kills the cancer cells
• external radiotherapy – a machine is used to direct beams of radiation at the cancer cells to kill them
• chemotherapy and targeted therapies – medications used to kill cancer cells
DID YOU KNOW?
The cause of Thyroid Cancer is not determined in most of the cases.