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Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
- The term thyroid cancer is actually an umbrella term for four different types of cancers which affect the cells present in the thyroid.
- Knowing the signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer will help you recognize the disease in yourself. Unlike many types of cancer, there are some noticeable symptoms in many cases
Thyroid cancer may not be one of the more common forms of cancer you hear about in the media but every year between 25,000 and 30,000 new cases are diagnosed. The death rate from thyroid cancer is relatively low but recognizing the symptoms of this cancer is important to improve your chances of survival.
What is Thyroid Cancer?
The term thyroid cancer is actually an umbrella term for four different types of cancers which affect the cells present in the thyroid. The thyroid is a small gland in the lower part of your throat. Although small, it actually includes some of the most important cells in your body. Thyroid follicular cells, for example, create the hormones that regulate your metabolism while C cells help your body use calcium. Lymphocytes and stromal cells which play roles in your immune process can also be found in the thyroid. Any of these cells can be affected by the cancer.
Thyroid cancer is more prevalent in women than in men by a ratio of about 3 to 1. Additionally, two-thirds of all cases occur in young people under the age of 55 which is unusual for cancer which predominantly hits those who are older.
Interestingly, the survival rate for thyroid cancer is one of the highest among all types of cancers. The five year survival rate for individuals diagnosed with this type of cancer is 97% which clearly means the odds are in your favor. However, you need to be diagnosed as soon as possible.
Identifying Thyroid Cancer
Knowing the signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer will help you recognize the disease in yourself. Unlike many types of cancer, there are some noticeable symptoms in many cases. You may notice a lump or swelling in your throat, for example. Normally, most people cannot feel their thyroid gland so feeling a lump in the area should be a red flag that medical attention should be sought out.
Other signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer include wheezing, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, coughing when you don’t have a cold. You may also have some pain around your throat, and you might also have difficulty breathing.
If you have any of these signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer, your physician will probably require you to have a biopsy done of the nodule causing the trouble. This biopsy will let your medical practitioner determine if the spot was cancerous or not.
Treating & Stopping Risks
When you suspect you have thyroid cancer, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. That’s because the cancer can spread. Your lymph nodes are not far away from your thyroid and if the cancer reaches them you could face serious health consequences. Lymphatic cancer is much more difficult to treat, spreads through the body quickly, and has a very low chance of survival.
To prevent that from happening, your doctor will remove the cancerous growth from your thyroid and will test the surrounding tissue to make sure the cancer has not spread. Additionally, you will be treated with radioactive iodine treatments to make sure the cancerous cells do not have a chance to spread.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Cancer Types9 Dec 2008