When the thyroid gland cells start to multiply unusually and uncontrollably, it leads to the development of cancer in the thyroid. The gland secretes hormones that regulate metabolism. There have been increased cases of thyroid cancer in Indian men and women in recent years.
Types of Thyroid Cancer
- Papillary thyroid cancer: It is the most common type of thyroid cancer. It can occur at any age but affects people aged between 30 to 50 more.
- Follicular thyroid cancer: It is rare thyroid cancer. It generally affects people aged above 50 years. This cancer does not spread to the neck.
- Hurthle thyroid cancer: It is a rare cancer. It is more aggressive than any other thyroid cancer subtype and can spread to the neck and lymph nodes.
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer: It grows quickly and is difficult to treat. However, the progression of anaplastic thyroid cancer can be slowed by treatment. It is more prevalent in individuals aged 60 or above.
- Medullary thyroid cancer: This cancer occurs in the C cells of the thyroid gland. These C cells are responsible for producing calcitonin hormones.
Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
The common symptoms of thyroid cancer are:
- Change in voice
- Neck swelling due to thyroid gland enlargement
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pain in neck and throat
- Feeling that closely fitting collar shirts are tight
If the patients experience one or more of the above symptoms and are at increased risk for developing thyroid cancer, they should consult with the top thyroid cancer doctors in Nashik.
Causes of Thyroid Cancer
There is no definite known cause of thyroid cancer. However, certain factors increase the risk of thyroid cancer. These are:
- Age: People of all ages are affected by thyroid cancer. But, around two-thirds of the cases occur in people aged between 20 to 55.
- Radiation exposure: Exposure of the head and neck to a moderate amount of radiation can increase the chances of thyroid cancer.
- Iodine deficiency: For the normal functioning of the thyroid, iodine is very necessary. The decrease in iodine level can also increase thyroid cancer risk.
Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer
HCG Manavata Cancer Center is one of the best thyroid cancer hospitals in Nashik for accurate diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer. Some of the methods for diagnosing thyroid cancer are:
- Physical examination: The doctor will evaluate the neck, thyroid, and throat for any signs of swelling.
- Blood test: A blood test, including a thyroid profile, checks the level of the thyroid hormones like TSH and thyroglobulin in the blood. It is done to check the functionality of the thyroid.
- Biopsy: A sample from the thyroid is withdrawn using a fine needle and is sent for testing to determine the presence of a tumor.
- Radioactive iodine scan: In this test, a small amount of radioactive iodine is orally given or injected. The thyroid gland absorbs the radioactive iodine. This absorbed radioactive iodine is evaluated using a device.
- Ultrasound: Ultrasound shows a clear image of the thyroid and nearby structures that helps to determine the presence of any tumors in the thyroid and the lymph nodes in the neck.
Treatment for Thyroid Cancer
HCG Manavata Cancer Center is one of the best hospitals for thyroid cancer treatment in Nashik. Treatment options available for thyroid cancer are:
- Thyroidectomy: This surgery totally or partially removes the thyroid gland. In most cases, the doctors leave a rim of the thyroid gland tissues around the parathyroid gland. It is done to protect the parathyroid gland.
- Thyroid lobectomy: The surgeon will remove half of the thyroid gland during thyroid lobectomy surgery. It is recommended if the thyroid cancer is slow growing, there is no presence of tumors in other areas of the thyroid, and there are no signs of cancer in lymph nodes.
- Lymph node dissection: Thyroid cancer can often spread to the lymph nodes in the neck. It can be determined by using ultrasound. If the cancer is seen in lymph nodes, lymph node dissection is performed to remove the tumors.
Hormone replacement therapy:
- Replacing the thyroid hormone: If the thyroid gland is removed completely, the patient might need hormone supplementation. It is done to compensate for the decreased hormone level in the body.
- Suppressing the growth of cancer cells: High dose of the thyroid hormone decreases the secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the brain. As a result, it will ultimately stop the further growth of cancer cells.
Radioactive iodine: This treatment approach uses radioactive iodine. It kills the cancer cells in the thyroid gland left after the surgery. It is used in most cases of thyroid cancer that can spread to other body parts.
Injecting alcohol: This method is also called alcohol ablation. In this method, alcohol is injected into the cancer cells using a needle. This needle is guided by ultrasound. Alcohol kills cancer cells.
Targeted drug therapy: Targeted therapy specifically targets cancer cells. The drugs administered during targeted therapy interfere with the vital cellular processes in the cancer cells, thereby killing them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can we prevent thyroid cancer?
Some methods to reduce the risk of thyroid cancer are:
- Preventive surgery: Preventive surgery removes the thyroid gland before it starts developing cancer in patients with a high risk of thyroid cancer. A genetic test can determine the presence of a mutated gene.
- Potassium iodide: If exposed to a significant amount of radiation (during treatment of other cancers), using potassium iodide can lower the risk of thyroid cancer. Potassium iodide prevents the absorption of excessive radiation by the thyroid gland.
Can thyroid cancer spread to other body parts?
Most often, thyroid cancers are slow-growing tumors. However, cancer may spread to nearby tissues and body organs. It can spread to the neck and lymph nodes in the neck.
How long can I live with thyroid cancer?
8 out of 10 people having thyroid cancer develop papillary type. The 5-year survival rate of papillary type is 100% when it has not spread. However, the survival rate is approximately 80% when it is spread.
What are the complications of thyroid cancer?
The complications of thyroid cancer include: