What is Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland located at lower front of your neck and controls metabolism. Thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.
Thyroid cancer occurs when cells of thyroid mutate abnormally and form a tumour. It can be completely cured if detected in early stage.
What are the symptoms of Thyroid Cancer?
Following are symptoms of thyroid cancer. But having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have thyroid cancer. These symptoms can also be caused due to non-cancerous conditions or even other cancers in the neck. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms:
- A lump/swelling in the lower neck at the region of thyroid gland or swelling elsewhere in the neck.
- Hoarseness or voice change that do not go away
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Back pain or any other bony pain could be due to spread of thyroid cancer.
Sometimes thyroid cancers are found incidentally on imaging done for other reasons.
What are the risk factors for Thyroid Cancer?
Gender and age: Women are at higher risk of thyroid cancer than men. Women aged between 40s or 50s are at higher risk.
- A diet low in iodine:
People having low iodine in their diet are at higher risk of thyroid cancer.
Exposure to radiation during certain medical treatments and radiation exposure from nuclear plant accidents increases risk of thyroid cancer. Risk depends on how much radiation is given and the age of treatment. The risk increases with larger doses and with younger age at treatment.
- Hereditary conditions and family history
Family history of cancer is also major risk factor. If anyone in the family has thyroid cancer, your risk increases.
- Malignant transformation of long standing benign thyroid nodule.
What are the stages of Thyroid Cancer?
Stages of thyroid cancer:
Staging of thyroid cancer depends on the Tumor size (T), spread to lymph Nodes (N) and distant spread i.e Metastasis (M) called as TNM Classification
Prognostic stage grouping depends on age, histopathological type of cancer (Papillary, Follicular, Medullary or Anaplastic carcinoma) and the TNM staging.
Is there a test for Thyroid Cancer?
Tests and procedures used to diagnose thyroid cancer include:
- Physical exam.Your doctor performs physical exam to determine physical changes in thyroid. He can also ask about past exposure to radiation and a family history of thyroid tumours.
- Blood tests.Blood tests help determine whether the thyroid gland is functioning normally.
- Ultrasound imaging.Ultrasound tests helps to check appearance of your thyroid which helps your doctor to determine whether a thyroid nodule is likely to be noncancerous (benign) or whether there’s a risk that it might be cancerous.
- Biopsy (FNAC). Your doctor uses the needle to remove samples of suspicious thyroid tissue. The sample is analyzed in the laboratory to look for cancer cells.
- Other imaging tests. Imaging tests CT, MRI and nuclear imaging tests that use a radioactive form of iodine help your doctor determine whether your cancer has spread beyond the thyroid.
- Genetic testing.Doctor may perform genetic testing for people with medullary thyroid cancer to observe genetic changes that can be associated with other endocrine cancers.
What are the treatment options for Thyroid Cancer?
- Surgery: For most of the cases of thyroid cancer, surgery is primary treatment option. Two options are available and decision as to which option to pursue depends upon the clinical situation.
- Lobectomy: Thyroid gland has two lobes. If the tumour is confined to only a small area, the surgeon may just remove the affected lobe.
- Total thyroidectomy: In this surgery, the entire thyroid gland is removed.
- Lymph node resection: If the thyroid cancer has spread to local lymph nodes, then these nodes are removed to achieve cure in these patients.
- Radioactive iodine: Radioactive iodine treatment uses large doses of radioactive iodine to destroy any microscopic areas of thyroid cancer that wasn’t removed during surgery.
What are the possible complications of thyroidectomy?
Hoarseness or change in voice, low Calcium levels in blood, bleeding, anesthesia-related complications can occur during/after surgey. At Oncoxpert, the team of doctors have performed numerous thyroid surgeries without any complications.
Do I need to take thyroid tablets after thyroid surgery?
Patients who have undergone total thyroidectomy will need thyroid tablets after surgery and this will be life long.
What is the prognosis of thyroid cancer?
Prognosis is the expected outcome of disease. It depends on age, gender, stage at diagnosis and subtype of thyroid cancer. Age less than 40, females and early stage thyroid cancer and well differentiated thyroid cancers carry good prognosis. Thyroid cancers are usually curable with 5 year survival of 98%, 10 year survival of about 95 percent and 20 year survival above 90%.
Why should you choose OncoXpert for your thyroid Cancer treatment?
At OncoXpert we provide most advanced thyroid cancer treatment. We keep our patients at the centre of all of our work and constantly think about how we can support you and your loved ones at every turn.
We have a team of highly experienced oncologists who are dedicated in providing you with the very best possible care and treatment. We have our branches in 5 major cities of India i.e. Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Lucknow and Hyderabad.