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12 Warning Signs of Thyroid Cancer: 5 Types and Causes

What is thyroid cancer and what are the types?

Thyroid cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cells that begins in the thyroid gland.  The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck just above the collarbone.

Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common thyroid cancer. It’s about 80 percent of thyroid cancers.

Thyroid cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cells that begins in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck just above the collarbone. The gland secretes vital hormones that regulate several bodily functions such as heart rate and rate of body energy utilization, all of which determine your metabolism. Thyroid hormones also influence the growth and development of the body in children. Thyroid cancer affects approximately 12,000 men and 33,000 women each year in the United States. It kills approximately 900 men and 1,000 women each year in the United States. It is one of the rare cancers that affects three times more women than men.

Based on the five types of thyroid cells from which cancer develops, thyroid cancer can be of different types, such as:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer: About 80% of thyroid cancers are of this type. This cancer usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50 and is highly curable. It is a slow growing cancer that responds well to treatment.
  • Follicular thyroid cancer: It usually affects people over the age of 50. It can cause up to 15% of thyroid cancer cases. This cancer spreads quickly, making treatment more difficult. Papillary and follicular thyroid cancers arise from follicular cells that produce and store thyroid hormones.
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer: This cancer usually affects people over the age of 60. It grows and spreads rapidly.
  • Medullary thyroid cancer: This cancer arises from a specific type of thyroid cells called parafollicular or C cells.
  • Other rare types of thyroid cancer: Include cancers such as thyroid lymphoma and thyroid sarcoma.

What are the warning signs of thyroid cancer?

The six warning signs of thyroid cancer include:

  • A lump or swelling in the neck (usually visible on one side of the neck)
  • Hoarseness or voice changes that progress or do not go away
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Pain in the front of the neck that may radiate to the ears
  • Persistent cough with no obvious cause such as the common cold

The above symptoms can also be seen in several non-cancerous conditions that are perhaps more common than thyroid cancer. However, you should consult your doctor to be sure of the diagnosis. Time is money when it comes to cancer. Early diagnosis can help you achieve better and faster recovery. As the cancer progresses, there may also be other symptoms such as:




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What causes thyroid cancer?

The exact cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. Thyroid cancer occurs when one of the various cells in the gland undergoes an abnormal change in its genetic material (mutation). This causes abnormal cells to grow and divide out of control, causing thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is usually diagnosed at an earlier age in women (40-50 years old) than in men (60-70 years old). Thyroid cancer can also be seen in children.

Certain factors can make thyroid cancer more likely:

  • Excessive radiation exposure around the neck, especially at a younger age for purposes such as radiation therapy or imaging studies
  • Inheritance of certain genes that make you more susceptible to thyroid cancer, such as the faulty RET gene or the faulty APC gene
  • female gender
  • Goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland)
  • History of thyroid cancer or other thyroid disease in a first-degree relative (such as mother, father, sibling, or child)
  • Specific types of thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland)
  • A diet low in iodine
  • Being overweight or obese

Medical examination on 06/09/2022

References

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12210-thyroid-cancer

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source: www.medicinenet.com

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