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A Comprehensive Guide on All You Need to Know About Thyroid Cancer

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
March 17th, 2022
11 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Thyroid cancer is a benign disease as it has a survival rate of 98%
  • Lump, hoarseness, pain, cough are common thyroid cancer symptoms
  • Radiotherapy & chemotherapy fall among thyroid cancer treatments

The thyroid gland is a part of your endocrine system. It is a small butterfly-shaped organ located at the base of your neck. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that help regulate metabolism. Thyroid hormones also control your blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate. Thyroid cancer is the cancer that affects this gland.This includes knowing thyroid cancer symptoms, diagnosis, prevention, and causes.

Thyroid cancer is common after the age of 30 and affects women thrice as much as men. It is a highly treatable form of cancer and has a survival rate of 98% if diagnosed at an early stage [1].  

For timely diagnosis and best treatment options, it is important to understand different aspects of thyroid cancer. Read on to know more. 

Additional Read: This World Cancer Day : Point Guide You Should Check Out 

What are thyroid cancer causes? 

Thyroid cancer develops when your thyroid cells experience a mutation. This allows the cells to multiply and grow at a rapid pace. These cells also lose their ability to die and start accumulating. This accumulation of abnormal cells leads to formation of tumor. The abnormal thyroid cells can invade tissues nearby and spread to other body parts. This spread is also known as metastasizing.  

Other than this, there are also certain risk factors than can be its causes. 

Thyroid cancer risk factors 

The risk factors of thyroid cancer can be mainly classified into 2 categories. Ones that you can control and ones that you cannot control.  

  • Controllable thyroid cancer risk factors 
  • Diet and weight 

Thyroid cancer risk factors 

Having an adequate iodine intake from your diet is essential. A high or low intake may increase your risk of follicular or papillary thyroid cancer 

Your weight also plays a role in determining your risk of thyroid cancer. People with a higher BMI have a higher risk of this condition, and as the BMI increases, the risk does too. [2] 

  • Radiation 

Radiation is one of the known thyroid cancer risk factors. The sources of such radiation include cancer treatments, and exposure to nuclear weapons or power plant accidents. 

  • Non-controllable thyroid cancer risk factors
  • Age and gender 

Women are three times more likely to have thyroid cancer diagnosis than men. Other than this, women are also at risk from an earlier age. For women, the risk peaks in their 40s-50s and for men it usually peaks when they are in their 60s-70s.  

  • Hereditary conditions and family history 

There are some cases where thyroid cancer is a result of inherited conditions. These may include Medullary Thyroid Cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis, or Cowden’s syndrome. If you have a first-degree relative, you may be at a higher risk of thyroid cancer. 

7 common thyroid cancer symptoms 

Here are some common thyroid cancer symptoms. 

  • Lump or swelling in your neck 
  • Pain going from the front of your neck to your ears
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Persistent hoarseness and voice changes
  • Cough that is not related to cold 

Different types of thyroid cancer

thyroid cancer types

What is the process of thyroid cancer diagnosis? 

If you have any of the above thyroid cancer symptoms, doctors may advise one or more of the following tests. These tests will help them reach an accurate thyroid cancer diagnosis. 

5 Thyroid cancer treatments 

Management of thyroid cancer depends on the type and size of the tumor. Common thyroid cancer treatments include: 

  • Radiation therapy 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Radioiodine therapy
  • Hormone therapy 

What are some complications?

Most cases of thyroid cancer are treatable, but in rare cases there may be complications. Some possible thyroid cancer complications are 

  • Hoarseness or injury to your voice box after surgery 
  • Cancer getting spread to other body parts such as lungs or bones 
  • Accidental removal of parathyroid gland resulting in a low calcium level 
  • A condition where you need to take thyroid hormone replacement therapy for the rest of your life 

Tips for thyroid cancer prevention 

Changing or avoiding the controllable risk factors is one the best ways for its prevention. Make sure you adapt to the following. 

Now that you know what is thyroid cancer, be sure to keep an eye on signs your body shows. Early and timely diagnosis will increase the possibility of the best treatment. Apart from this, you should also look out for signs of an underlying condition such as hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This condition may lead to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland). You can follow our guide on thyroid cancer symptoms to able to stay on top on your health. 

Additional Read: Thyroid Symptoms: How Do Iodine Levels Affect Your Thyroid Gland? 

When you see signs of a health condition, contact a doctor immediately. Book an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health to get timely treatment. You can also choose from the affordable test packages that will help you stay ahead of underlying health conditions.

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