CANCERS OF THE THYROID GLAND

Cancers of the thyroid gland

    •  Early disease has no symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may experience pain and swelling in the neck or difficulty swallowing. Many times, it could be an incidental finding on ultrasound.

    Risk factors:

  •  Family history
  •  Females have a higher risk of thyroid cancer
  •  History of radiation exposure
  •  SAge more than 40 years

    Most common types of thyroid cancers:

    Papillary:

  •  well differentiated
  •  More common in women
  •  Slow spread, good prognosis

    Medullary:

  •  Anaplastic
  •  Follicular
  •  Lymphoma

    Diagnosis:

  •  Complete physical examination, examination of neck to assess the thyroid and identify the presence of neck nodes.
  •  Thyroid function tests
  •  USG neck with biopsy from a suspicious lesion
  •  Laryngoscopy to assess vocal cord function

    Treatment:

  •  Depends on the type of cancer and the extent/spread of disease.
  •  Surgical removal of the gland followed by lifelong thyroid hormone replacement as the ability to produce the hormone in the body is lost. Surrounding lymph nodes may also be removed during surgery.
  •  Radioactive iodine
  •  People diagnosed in the early stages respond well. However, recurrence depends on the type of cancer.