Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer


Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid - a butterfly shaped gland located at the base of the neck just below the thyroid cartilage of the larynx . ( Adam's apple ) . The thyroid produces hormones that regulate heart rate, blood pressure , body temperature and weight.

Although thyroid cancer is not common in the United States , the percentages shown to increase ..

Most cases of thyroid cancer are treatable.


 Thyroid cancer often does not cause any signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. As it grows thyroid cancer , may cause :

Change in voice , including increasing hoarseness , difficulty swallowing , pain in the neck and throat , swollen lymph nodes in the neck .


It is not clear what causes thyroid cancer . Thyroid cancer occurs when thyroid cells undergo genetic changes ( mutations ) . These mutations allow cells to grow and multiply rapidly .. Accumulation of abnormal cells constitute thyroid tumor growth .

Types of Thyroid Cancer

The type of thyroid cancer determines treatment and prognosis. Types of thyroid cancer include :

Papillary thyroid carcinoma . The type of papillary thyroid cancer is the most common , accounting for approximately 80 percent of all diagnoses of thyroid cancer .

Follicular thyroid cancer . The follicular thyroid cancer also includes Hurthle cancer.

Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid. Thyroid cancer may be associated with inherited genetic syndromes MEN

The anaplastic thyroid cancer . The anaplastic type of thyroid cancer is very rare , aggressive and difficult to treat.

Lymphoma of the thyroid. Lymphoma of the thyroid affects the immune cells in the thyroid . Lymphoma of the thyroid is very rare.



Most people with thyroid cancer undergo surgery to remove all or most of the thyroid .tissue. Surgical treatment for thyroid cancer includes:

Removing all or most of the thyroid ( thyroidectomy ) . Surgery to remove the entire thyroid is the most common treatment for thyroid cancer . In most cases , the surgeon leaves a minor thyroid tissue around the parathyroid glands to reduce the risk of damage parathyroid . Sometimes surgeons refer to it as near total thyroidectomy .

Removal of lymph nodes in the neck . When removing your thyroid , the surgeon may also remove lymph nodes swelling of the neck and to check for cancer cells .

Thyroid surgery is done by making an incision in the skin at the base of your neck . Thyroid Surgery carries a risk of bleeding and infection . Damage can also occur in the parathyroid glands during surgery , which later leads to low levels of calcium in your body . There is also the risk of accidental damage to the nerves associated with the vocal cords , which can cause vocal cord paralysis , hoarseness , gentle voice or difficulty in breathing .

To avoid the previous problem is a combination of the experience of the surgeon.

Treatment with thyroid hormones

After surgery for thyroid cancer , will receive the thyroid hormone drugs levothyroxine (Levothroid, Synthroid, etc.) life . This pill has two advantages : Provides the lack of thyroid hormone after thyroidectomy and suppresses the production of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary. High levels of TSH could theoretically stimulates any remaining cancer cells to grow .

You will likely have blood tests to check your thyroid hormone levels every few months until your doctor finds the right dose for you .

Radioactive iodine

The radioiodine therapy using large doses of a version of which is radioactive iodine . The radioiodine therapy is often used after thyroidectomy to destroy any remaining thyroid tissue healthy and microscopic regions of thyroid cancer that had not been removed during surgery or treatment with radioactive iodine may also be used for treating cancer thyroid returns after treatment or spreads to other areas of the body .

Treatment with radioactive iodine comes as a capsule or liquid to swallow . The radioactive iodine is absorbed mainly by cells of the thyroid cells and thyroid cancer , so there is a low risk to hurt other cells in your body .

Side effects can include :



Dry eye

Altered sense of taste or smell

Pain where the cancerous cells have spread thyroid as the neck or chest

The bulk of the radioactive iodine leaves the body in urine during the first few days after treatment. During this period you will be instructed on precautions to be taken to protect others from radiation . For example , you may be asked to temporarily avoid close contact with other people , especially children and pregnant women.

External radiation therapy


Radiation therapy may also be given externally using a machine that aims the high-energy rays at specific points on your body . Called external beam radiation therapy , this treatment is usually given a few minutes at a time , five days a week , for about six weeks. During treatment, you will lie still on a table while a machine moves around you . External radiation therapy is commonly used to treat thyroid cancer that has spread to the bones .


Chemotherapy is not commonly used in the treatment of thyroid cancer , but may benefit some people who do not respond to other, more standard treatments .

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are studies of new cancer treatments or new ways of using existing treatments. Enrolling in a clinical trial gives you the opportunity to try the latest cancer treatment options but clinical trials can not guarantee a cure. Ask your doctor if you have the right to enroll in a clinical trial . Together you can discuss the benefits and risks of the trial and decide if you participate in a clinical trial is right for you .