Thyroid cancer is the cancer which develops around the thyroid area of your body. It is situated near the neck and looks like a butterfly shape from within.
Thyroid cancer is one of the uncommon forms of cancer and it has been observed that females are more affected by this cancer than men. Also, people of Asian countries are more affected by this cancer than people of other regions. Also, thyroid cancer is one of the few forms of cancer which can be detected early and thus you can avail the treatment early and thus lead a healthier life ahead.
Thyroid Cancer : Causes
There is no defined list of what causes thyroid cancer.
But doctors and researchers have identified that constant exposure to radiation may be one of the biggest factors which causes thyroid cancer. That doesn’t mean that a dental X ray will give you thyroid cancer. But yes past radiation treatments may be on your head, chest or neck area can put you at a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer.
Other than this DNA changes also play a major role in thyroid cancer. Some of you get it as a part of their hereditary routine while some of you may get this as a result of some DNA changes in your body which can happen at an old age.
Some of the major symptoms of thyroid cancer are as follows :
- One of the most common symptom is lump or swelling in the neck
- You might have developed pain in the neck or the ear area
- You might face some trouble while swallowing the food
- You might have some trouble while breathing
- You might have some constant sneezing without any reason
- Your voice might have become hoarse
- You might suffer from a frequent dry cold
There are several ways of detecting thyroid cancer. Some of which are highlighted below :
- Biopsy – if a lump is formed on your neck then the doctor will advise to go for biopsy. Biopsy is a small procedure in which a tiny piece of thyroid tissue is removed with a needle and then it is checked for the presence of any cancerous cells. In cases where a biopsy is not clear, doctor will advise you to remove the entire lump to check for the presence of cancer cells.
- Thyroid Scan – another method of determining thyroid cancer. A thyroid scan shows the size, image and location of thyroid gland. It will also help the doctor to find out the areas which are over reactive or less reactive. In this radioactive tracer is used with a special camera which helps to focus on the how much the thyroid gland absorbs the blood.
- Thyroid ultrasound – during thyroid ultrasound, a small handheld device called transducer is passed all over the neck area. This gives a clear picture of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Thyroid cancer : Treatment
Thyroid cancer is completely treatable and post that the patient can lead a normal and healthy life. There are two methods of treating a thyroid cancer. You can treat it either with radioactive elements or with surgery. Thyroid cancer does not involve the use of chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Your mode of treatment will completely depend on which cancer stage you are in. Also, your age and health condition will be other major determinant of the treatment.
Thyroid cancer : Prevention
Unfortunately most thyroid cancers cannot be prevented. You can undergo a genetic test initially and if the test shows that you have thyroid cancer in your family then the best way will be get the thyroid glands removed to prevent the chances of thyroid cancer in future.