The thyroid gland is a minute butterfly-shaped organ or gland that is generally located in the interior of the front of a human being’s neck. The function of this gland is to overlook the process of metabolism. Moreover, it helps in releasing hormones that come in direct effect when it comes to the functioning of the human body. This function also consists of how one regulates the expenditure of energy, the production of heat, and the consumption of oxygen. However, every gland does not always function to its fullest. The condition of cell mutation or enhanced cell division in the thyroid leads to thyroid cancer. The abnormal division of cells leads to the formation of a tumour. Highly experienced doctors such as Dr. Kanury Rao have been dealing with critical cases concerning thyroid cancer. But first, what is thyroid cancer? Let us find out ahead.
What is Thyroid cancer?
The hyperactivity shown in the growth of cells commencing in the thyroid gland is called thyroid cancer. The thyroid is explained as a gland in the shape of a butterfly situated at the base of the neck, below Adam’s apple. Thyroid cancer leads to the swelling of the neck, voice modulations, and causing difficulty when it comes to swallowing food. There are multiple types of thyroid cancer, out of which maximum types have a slow-paced growth, and the rest are of aggressive forms. According to the latest surveys, thyroid cancers are seen to be increasing at a fast rate. This seems to be possible because of the advanced imaging technology that is efficient in allowing health experts like Dr. Kanury Rao to detect the smallest of thyroid cancers on CT and MRI scans that are performed for various conditions.
Types of Thyroid cancer
Papillary thyroid cancer- this type of thyroid cancer is most commonly found among a wide range of the population. According to the latest studies, around eighty per cent of thyroid cancer cases are papillary thyroid cancer. It tends to grow at a slow pace but frequently spreads to the lymph nodes of the patient’s neck. However, there are unlimited possibilities for recovering from this disease.
Follicular thyroid cancer- this type of cancer is known to occur in around ten to fifteen per cent of the times of thyroid cancer in the United States. It is known to spread in the lymph nodes and has a higher chance of extending into the blood vessels.
Medullary cancer- this type of cancer is rare enough to occur among all cases of thyroid cancer. It is highly possible to be found at the initial stage, where it produces the calcitonin hormone. Experts such as Dr Kanury Rao are efficient at detecting cancer with the help of this hormone.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer- this cancer type is classified as one of the most types due to its aggressive nature of spreading all over the body. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the rarest to find and is the hardest to treat.
Symptoms of Thyroid cancer
The majority of thyroid cancers are devoid of showing any signs or symptoms during the initial period of the occurrence of the disease. The disease can cause-
- Lump or nodule that is usually felt through the skin on one’s neck
- One might think that tight-fitting shirt collars are turning too tight
- Voice modulation, primarily increased hoarseness
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Inflamed lymph nodes in one’s neck
- Rising pain in the neck and throat
What are the risk factors involved?
Factors that may increase the risk of thyroid cancer include:
Some of the factors that have the potential to increase the risk of thyroid cancer include-
- Females- thyroid cancer mainly occurs in females rather than in males. Many experts think this factor is associated with the release of oestrogen hormone, and oestrogen is found in higher levels in females by birth.
- High radiation- when a person is exposed to radiation for a more extended period in the head and neck regions, the chances of the occurrence of thyroid cancer increase.
- Genetic syndromes- few genetic syndromes increase the risk of thyroid cancer occurring, which includes familial medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasias, Cowden syndrome, and familial adenomatous polyposis.
How to prevent it?
Experts are uncertain of the fact that which gene mutates to lead to the majority of types of thyroid cancers. This leads to the uncertainty prevailing in finding the cure for people possessing an average risk of being infected with the disease. However, the disease can be prevented. All age groups, including children with inherited genes known for increasing the risk for medullary thyroid cancer, should consider the option of thyroid surgery to prevent cancer. One can consult genetic counsellors better to understand thyroid cancer risk and available treatment options.
Therefore, it is best to get yourself checked by experts like Dr Kanury Rao to understand thyroid cancer risk factors.