Thyroid cancer mostly affects the thyroid gland, which produces important hormones. Normally, the hormones produced by the thyroid regulate important body functions like digestion, heart rate, and body temperature. However, thyroid cancer causes abnormal growth of thyroid cells, which can cause tumors to form in the neck and on the thyroid gland. This affects the production and regulation of the thyroid hormones, which causes problems throughout the body.
2 AnswersHonor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Thyroid cancer is relatively uncommon compared with other forms of cancer, accounting for 1.6 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. An estimated 20,700 cases will be diagnosed in 2002. The number of new cases is about 16 times the number of deaths, which is estimated to be 1,300 for 2002. Thyroid cancer occurs more than twice as often in women as in men. The rate of new cancers (invasive) for 1999 - the most recent year available - was 10.4 per 100,000 women and 3.8 per 100,000 men.
Thyroid cancer death rates for 1999 were 0.5 deaths per 100,000 women and 0.4 deaths per 100,000 men. The lifetime risk of invasive thyroid cancer is estimated at 0.82 percent (1 in 122) for women and 0.30 percent (1 in 333) for men.
Thyroid cancer is also highly curable. The five-year relative survival rate is 96 percent.
This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.
Your doctor may take tissue for a biopsy in one of two ways:
* Fine-needle aspiration: Most people have this type of biopsy. Your doctor removes a sample of tissue from a thyroid nodule with a thin needle. An ultrasound device can help your doctor see where to place the needle.
* Surgical biopsy: If a diagnosis cannot be made from fine-needle aspiration, a surgeon removes the whole nodule during an operation. If the doctor suspects follicular thyroid cancer, surgical biopsy may be needed for diagnosis.
This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute
Tests that examine the thyroid, neck, and blood are used to detect and diagnose thyroid cancer. The following tests and procedures may be used:Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or swelling in the neck, voice box, and lymph nodes, and anything else that seems unusual. Laryngoscopy: A procedure in which the doctor checks the larynx with a mirror or with a laryngoscope. Blood hormone studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain hormones released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it. The blood may be checked for abnormal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), hormone calcitonin. Blood chemistry studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances, such as calcium, released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it. Radioactive iodine scan (RAI scan): A procedure to find areas in the body where thyroid cancer cells may be dividing quickly. Radioactive iodine (RAI) is used because only thyroid cells take up iodine. Abnormal thyroid cells take up less iodine than normal thyroid tissue. Ultrasound exam: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. This procedure can show the size of a thyroid tumor and whether it is solid or a fluid -filled cyst. CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
This answer is based on source information from National Cancer Institute.
4 AnswersWhile there are multiple types of thyroid cancer, the most common types are papillary and follicular, both of which are called well differentiated thyroid cancers. Hurthle cell carcinoma is less common as is the medullary type, the latter being associated with a syndrome called multiple endocrine neoplasia 2. The most aggressive but fortunately uncommon type of thyroid cancer is called anaplastic. As opposed to patients with other types of thyroid cancer, most patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer have a small chance of surviving even one year following diagnosis.
1 AnswerHealthwise answered
Most cases of thyroid cancer cannot be prevented. You may be much more likely to get medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) if you have a gene carried by some families. A genetic test can show if you carry this gene. If your test is positive for the gene, you may want to talk with your doctor about having your thyroid removed to prevent getting thyroid cancer later in life.
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2 AnswersIn diagnosing thyroid cancer, usually an ultrasound of the neck is obtained to evaluate any lumps felt in the thyroid by the patient or doctor. Signs of cancer within a nodule on ultrasound include "hypoechogenic" (solid) appearance, "taller than wide" size, microcalcifications (small bits of bright calcium), and irregular margins or borders. Fine needle aspiration (FNA) has a high accuracy level for the diagnosis of cancer, approaching 95% in some studies.
5 AnswersThe majority of thyroid cancer patients are asymptomatic (have no symptoms). About 75% of patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer present to their doctor with a neck mass. Others are found to have a mass palpable on routine physical examination by their general doctor. About 25% of patients will report dysphagia, the sensation of food sticking when they swallow. Hoarseness or other voice changes can occur. Difficulty breathing occurs rarely with advanced or aggressive disease.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
3 AnswersHealthwise answered
Thyroid cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells of the thyroid gland.
Symptoms of thyroid cancer include a lump in the neck, swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, hoarseness, or cough.
Treatment depends on the specific type of thyroid cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Treatment usually includes surgery, radiation treatments (including radioactive iodine), or chemotherapy. Thyroid cancer generally responds well to treatment.
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Hereditary thyroid cancer is thyroid cancer that develops in people who have inherited damage to certain genes. People with inherited damage to their RET gene develop medullary thyroid cancer and have a hereditary cancer syndrome called multiple endocrine neoplasia, type II.
People with mutations on their PTEN gene have an increased risk (about 10%) of usually follicular, and sometimes papillary thyroid cancer. Women with PTEN gene mutations also have an increased risk for breast and uterine cancer. There are other hereditary cancer syndromes that are associated with a small but increased risk for thyroid cancer.
People with hereditary thyroid cancer can pass the gene mutation on to their children. It is important that people at risk for hereditary thryoid cancer have interventions to reduce their risk for thyroid cancer. Interventions include preventative surgery to remove the thyroid, or in other cases more frequent clinical examination of their thyroid.