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Thyroid Cancer: Understanding the Basics

Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of the thyroid gland, which is located in the front of your neck. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism and hormone production, making it an integral part of the body’s endocrine system. In this blog, we will delve into the various aspects of thyroid cancer, including its prevalence, different types, stages, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and available treatment options.

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Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer occurs when the cells in the thyroid gland undergo mutations, which cause them to multiply uncontrollably. These abnormal cells then form a tumor, which may be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

How Common is Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer is relatively uncommon compared to other types of cancer, but its incidence has been steadily increasing in recent years, and early diagnosis and appropriate treatment is the key to treating it at an initial stage.

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Types of Thyroid Cancer

There are four main types of thyroid cancer, each originating from different cells within the thyroid gland.

  • Papillary Thyroid Cancer: This is the most common type, accounting for about 80% of thyroid cancer cases but this grows slowly as compared to other cancers and has a high cure rate.
  • Follicular Thyroid Cancer: Accounting for about 10% of thyroid cancer cases, follicular thyroid cancer also grows slowly and is predominantly seen in older adults.
  • Medullary Thyroid Cancer: This type of thyroid cancer originates in the C cells that produce calcitonin. Approximately 4% of thyroid cancers fall into this category. Medullary thyroid cancer can be hereditary or sporadic.
  • Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: Although rare, this aggressive form of thyroid cancer is the most challenging to treat. It represents less than 2% of all thyroid cancer cases.

Thyroid Cancer Stages

Thyroid cancer is typically staged based on the size of the tumor, its extent of spread to nearby lymph nodes, and whether it has metastasized to distant parts of the body.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

  • A lump or nodule in the neck
  • Hoarseness or voice changes
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Pain or discomfort in the neck or throat

All these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to consult a doctor  for proper evaluation.

Causes of Thyroid Cancer

  • Genetics: Certain inherited genetic mutations, such as in the RET or BRAF genes, can increase the likelihood of developing medullary or papillary types of thyroid cancer.
  • Exposure to Radiation: Exposure to high levels of radiation, such as during childhood radiation treatment or nuclear accidents, can increase the risk of thyroid cancer later in life.
  • Enlarged thyroid (Goiter)
  • Family history of thyroid disease/thyroid cancer
  • Thyroiditis
  • Low iodine intake
  • Obesity

Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis

To diagnose thyroid cancer, your doctor may use a combination of tests;

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Imaging scans (ultrasound or CT scan)
  • Biopsy (removing a small sample of tissue from the thyroid gland for laboratory analysis)

Treatment of Thyroid Cancer

The treatment options for thyroid cancer depend on various factors, including the type and stage of cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health. Common treatment approaches include;

  • Surgery: Surgery is typically the main treatment for thyroid cancer. It involves removing part or all of the thyroid gland, and in some cases, nearby lymph nodes.
  • Radioactive Iodine Therapy: This treatment is often used in cases of papillary or follicular thyroid cancer. It involves taking a radioactive iodine pill or liquid that specifically targets and destroys any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
  • Thyroid Hormone Therapy: After surgery for thyroid cancer, patients may need to take thyroid

Accord Hospital is one of the top oncology hospitals in India, known for its expertise in providing exceptional thyroid cancer treatment. With a team of highly skilled and experienced oncologists, Accord Hospital offers comprehensive care and innovative treatment options for patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and advanced technologies, ensuring the highest standards of patient care and outcomes. If you are seeking the best oncologist in Faridabad, Accord Hospital is the ideal place to receive top-notch treatment and personalized care for thyroid cancer.