Thyroid cancers occur in the thyroid gland, can be either benign or malignant. Those diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer typically fall into the 25-65 year age group, and tend to be women. The mortality rate of Thyroid Cancer tends to be quite low.
Thyroid Cancers can be first detected by a examination of the neck area, and can be confirmed by means of blood tests and ultrasounds. Thyroid Cancers typically grow within a nodule in thyroid area; while a nodule is not necessarily cancerous, Thyroid Cancers will most likely grow within these nodules. Approximately one percent of thyroid nodules is malignant in nature.
The early symptoms of Thyroid Cancer include hoarseness when speaking, a sore neck, and enlarged lymph nodes. However, these signs are not necessarily evidence of cancer, but may simply be nodular growth within the lymph nodes. Nodules tend to develop as people age, with the vast majority of individuals having at least one nodule in the thyroid gland before reaching an advanced age.
There are several risk factors associated with Thyroid Cancer. These include exposure to radiation, such as radiation treatment; a family history of Thyroid Cancer; sex and age; having a benign thyroid disease; and iodine levels. Having an over-active or an under-active thyroid is typically not indicative of Thyroid Cancer.
The most common types of Thyroid Cancer, papillary Thyroid Cancer and follicular Thyroid Cancer, tend to have a very high recovery rate. This is particularly so if the Thyroid Cancer has not spread beyond the thyroid. However, factors influencing the overall recovery rate for Thyroid Cancer include the type of Thyroid Cancer, as well as the rate of the tumour growth, how well an individual responds to treatment, and personal factors, such as an individual’s fitness and health.
The most common way to treat Thyroid Cancer is through surgery in order to remove the cancer affected section of the Thyroid, or to remove the entire thyroid. People who have undergone this treatment for Thyroid Cancer will typically need to participate in a thyroid hormone replacement program to ensure that their metabolism and body continue to function at healthy levels. Other types of Thyroid Cancer treatment include radioactive iodine treatment, external radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Whether these treatments are used will depend on the type and spread of your Thyroid Cancer. Some individuals also look to alternative treatments as a way of helping to reduce the likelihood of Thyroid Cancer metastasis, as well as to reduce the likelihood that their cancer will return in the future after treatment.