The thyroid is a gland shaped similar to a butterfly. It is found on the inside of the lower part of your neck. It normally has a key role in controlling your metabolism and also releases hormones that oversee different functions in your body. These include things such as energy utilization, heat generation, and consumption of oxygen by your body.
Thyroid cancer can occur when thyroid cells begin to change or mutate. If this happens, the number of abnormal cells in your thyroid can multiply, and a tumor will form around it. This tumor can cause thyroid cancer.
Types of Thyroid Cancer
Following are the four major types of thyroid cancer.
- Papillary Thyroid Cancer
This is the most common type of thyroid cancer. In fact, almost 80% of all reported cases of thyroid cancer in the United States are of papillary thyroid cancer. Its growth is normally slow, but it may eventually spread to your lymph nodes in the neck. However, the good thing is that your chances of a full recovery remain high even if this cancer is at a later stage.
- Follicular Thyroid Cancer
Follicular thyroid cancer is relatively less common. It makes up about 10% to 15% of all reported cases of thyroid cancer in the United States. This type of thyroid cancer tends to spread beyond the lymph nodes. It may reach your blood vessels. However, you can still make a full recovery with a timely diagnosis.
- Medullary Cancer
Medullary cancer is a type of early-stage cancer. It normally creates a hormone called “calcitonin.” Doctors often keep an eye on it, especially during blood tests. This is done to make sure that early diagnosis and full recovery is possible. In total, around 4% of all cases of thyroid cancer in the USA happen to be medullary cancer.
- Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
This is the rarest as well as the most severe form of thyroid cancer. It can aggressively spread to other parts of your body, and its treatment is the hardest. Thankfully, it is not as common as other less severe forms of thyroid cancer.
Causes of Thyroid Cancer
At times, certain changes occur in the DNA of a person which may result in thyroid cells becoming cancerous. We usually get our DNA from our parents. However, DNA affects other things too. At times, it may increase or decrease the risk that a person faces with regard to contracting any kind of cancer.
Thyroid Cancer Symptoms
There are often no obvious symptoms of thyroid cancer, especially during its early stages. As it grows, however, you may experience the following.
- Neck and throat pain.
- A lump in the lower part of your neck that can be felt through the skin.
- Difficulty in swallowing food.
- Changes to the tone and quality of your voice with increasing hoarseness.
- Regular coughing.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck.
Prevention and Treatment
During the treatment of thyroid cancer, things may get complicated at times. This is because there are often no recognized risk factors that you can easily identify and initiate preventive measures.
However, that does not mean that the prevention of thyroid cancer is not possible. You can both prevent thyroid cancer from making your life difficult and get the disease treated successfully with the right diagnosis. Everything Health will guide you do just that.
- Iodine Consumption
Thyroid cells require iodine in order to be able to produce the thyroid hormone. In the long run, this prevents the onset of thyroid cancer. So, consume iodine regularly. The most common way to take iodine is to use iodized salt in your food. You only need it in small amounts on a daily basis, and the salt you take with your food is enough for it.
- Consult Your Doctor Early
Radioactive iodine is often given to the patients who come for iodine treatment. So, you can prevent the onset with regular iodine consumption. Different surgical procedures are available for treatment if the disease is in an advanced stage. You probably would not need surgery if the symptoms have been diagnosed early and efficient preventive measures are taken.
All in all, thyroid cancer is a disease that is easily avoidable. All you have to do is be conscious of your diet and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. In case you have contracted thyroid cancer, then do not hesitate in going to the doctor and get it treated at the earliest. Most of the time, the patients are able to make a full recovery.