Thyroid Cancer:Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Thyroid cancer is abnormal growth of cells in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a part of the body seen at the anterior of the neck beneath Adam’s apple which is in the shape of a butterfly. It is an endocrine gland. Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) hormone production is the main function of thyroid gland.
Among all type of cancers, thyroid cancer is an abnormal one. Women are more affected by these type of cancers. Also, people with higher ages are mostly affected. Generation of thyroid nodule which is a lump in the gland is the main symptom. Not every nodule are malignant. Only about 10% of lumps are malignant. There are mainly three types of thyroid cancer such as; differentiated, medullary, anaplastic.
There are no exact causes of thyroid cancer as per the expert findings. Even though there are certain factors which are responsible for the thyroid cancer. Some of the causes are mentioned. Certain changes in the DNA. When radiations are mostly exposed. When the neck is exposed for X-rays and CT scans. The diet containing low iodine. Frequent intake of tobacco. Smoking while having thyroid disorders.
Exposure to ionizing radiations is also a cause. These radiations may be from natural or artificial sources. People who are exposed to mantle-field radiation for lymphoma and iodine-131 due to Chernobyl, Fukushima, Kyshtym and Windscale nuclear disasters. Thyroiditis and many other thyroid related diseases pave a way to thyroid cancer swiftly. Genetic causes such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type-2 increase the rate of thyroid cancer.
There are certain symptoms of thyroid cancer. Swelling in the neck which is mainly on the thyroid gland. Difficulty in eating food while swallowing. Ears and neck portions are likely to affect pain. Voice changes abnormally. A cough without cold is seen frequently. Lump or nodule is felt on the thyroid gland. It is more difficult to diagnose thyroid cancer as it shows no signs or symptoms sometimes. So regular checkup is recommended for preventing such a type of cancer.
Usually, euthyroid patients get affected by thyroid cancer. Symptoms such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are some symptoms of severe thyroid cancer. People aged below twenty who have thyroid nodules are found of particular concern. At these ages the presence of benign nodules are less likely to occur, so the nodules may be malignant. It is to be considered seriously.
There are certain treatment methods for thyroid cancer. Surgery and by radioactive iodine are two treatment methods. But in some cases, radiation therapy is also done. It is very much important to check the age of patient, type and stage of cancer before treating a patient. Other treatment methods include:
- Targeted drug therapy
- Overconsumption of alcohol
- Thyroid hormone therapy
- Surgical removal of thyroid and the infected gland.
Thyroidectomy and dissection of central neck compartment are initial steps to treating. Thyroid preserving operation is also one of the major surgeries done when these cancers show biologically aggressive behaviour. Radioactive iodine-131 is used in patients having papillary or follicular thyroid cancer. External radiation is used when cancer occurs after resection or for the relief from bone metastasis. Sorafenib and lenvatenib techniques are approved for advanced metastasis thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer which is rarer in India has a lot of symptoms. A regular checkup is required for ensuring that your health is perfect. A balanced diet is needed for getting rid of thyroid cancer. If diagnosed with thyroid cancer, one should ensure that he is getting proper treatment on time.