Cancer is a disease in which cells of our body divide uncontrollably. And when cells of our thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland, start splitting up in this way, then the medical condition is referred to as thyroid cancer.
Cancer is a deadly disease, but thyroid cancer is treatable. All it needs to be is detected at the early stages. Modern medicine has something for every illness. So, even if someone is diagnosed with thyroid cancer, they can choose anyone from the multiple treatments of cancer. But the most promising treatment includes the development of monoclonal antibodies. However, the treatment options include surgery, hormone therapy, radioactive iodine therapy, radiation, and in some cases chemotherapy.
Thyroid Cancer: Symptoms & Signs
Thyroid cancer does not impart any symptoms in the early stages. However, it can be diagnosed in any regular physical exam. But as it starts to advance the following symptoms are observed:
- A lump may form in the front of the neck, near Adam’s apple.
- Hoarseness: It is voice change that does not go away. A person may appear to breathe heavily or change in pitch.
- Swollen glands in the neck.
- If anyone is facing difficulty in swallowing consistently that can also be a symptom of thyroid cancer.
- Difficulty breathing/ Trouble breathing.
- Pain in the throat or neck.
- Persistent cough without any cold or flu is also a symptom of thyroid cancer.
If you feel any of these symptoms or have a couple of these, immediately talk to your doctor.
The medical practitioner will assess how long you have been facing these symptoms and suggest a proper diagnosis for that.
However, these symptoms can also be the result of developing other thyroid problems such as a goiter. It doesn’t need to be cancer in every case.
A respiratory infection can also give rise to similar indications.
If a person is diagnosed with cancer, it is very important to take care of relieving symptoms. They are a crucial part of cancer treatment. Thus, it is important to stay in constant touch with the health care team. This is called palliative care or supportive care.
What is the risk factor for thyroid cancer?
Anything that can trigger cancer in any person is called risk factors. However, no person in the vicinity of the risk factors needs to develop cancer. There are several chances that some people working in the presence of several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. But identifying your risk factors can help you to build a healthy lifestyle.
Here is the list of factors that are likely to induce thyroid cancer in people.
Women are more susceptible to this specific type of cancer than men. 3 out of 4 thyroid cancer patients are females. The prominent cause for the same is breast cancer. There are high chances that breast cancer survivors are likely to develop thyroid cancer.
The risk is even more if they had breast cancer at an early age.
Like every other disease thyroid cancer is also not bound to any age limit. But a middle-aged person between having ages between 20 and 55 has higher chances to develop this cancer. Two-third of the patients reported thyroid cancer lies between this age span.
Cancer can also be the result of some faulty genes called oncogenes. People having a family history of cancer are at a high-risk factor of developing cancer.
It is common to pass on an MTC gene from parent to child.
4. Radiation exposure.
Radioactive radiations are always on the list of cancer risk factors. X-rays and other radiations can cause mutations in genes. These mutations can sometimes lead to switching-off the gene responsible for automatic cell death. Thus, resulting in cancer.
There are also chances of exactly the opposite to occur means cells can even start to multiply uncontrollably.
People working in labs dealing with radioactive materials have the high-risk factor.
5. Diet low in iodine.
Iodine deficient diet is one of the primary causes of thyroid cancer. The butterfly-shaped gland cannot work properly without iodine. That is why in most of the regions iodine is added to salt. So, that one can fulfill their daily iodine needs.
Thyroid cancer is a curable disease that can be dealt with ease if detected at the early stages.
But it does not show any symptoms in the beginning. Thus, it is difficult to identify it in the initial stages. The indications include difficulty in swallowing and breathing with a consistent cough.
However, these symptoms do not end up in cancer every time, it can be a goiter or any other respiratory infection also.
It is important to know the risk factors to develop a healthy lifestyle that can reduce the chances of cancer. The common risk factors include radioactive radiations, iodine-deficient diet, and genetic causes.