Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid gland is located in your neck, at the base of your
Adam’s apple, and is a very important part of the endocrine system of
your body. Hormones that the gland secretes are responsible for things
such as your body temperature, hair growth and loss, weight loss and
gain, and other aspects of your metabolism. Thyroid cancer can have
serious consequences, but it is highly treatable if caught early.

Symptoms and Causes of Thyroid Cancer

main symptoms of this cancer appear in the throat area. Hoarseness,
coughing, trouble breathing, a lump or nodule at the front of your
throat, and swollen lymph nodes are all symptoms that may appear. A
pain in the neck or throat area, and pain when swallowing can also be
present, though there aren’t always symptoms in the early stages of

Family history is a big factor in whether you’re
at risk for thyroid cancer. It can be inherited through your family’s
DNA, or you may simply be in a higher risk category due to your age,
sex, race, or exposure to certain contaminants. White American women
are most at risk, as those who have been exposed to radiation.

Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

presence of a nodule is often noticed upon routine examination, though
not all nodules end up being cancerous. To diagnose thyroid cancer, the
doctor may do an ultrasound scan, blood tests, or a needle biopsy. The
determination of cancer is made by the way the cells look and act when
under a microscope, especially when compared to nearby cells in the
gland and lymph nodes.

For malignant nodules, treatment will vary,
but can include complete removal of the gland, radioiodine treatment,
an external radioactive beam application, and chemotherapy. A thyroid
scan is often used to detect any cancerous cells left behind, which can
then be eliminated. A lifetime of supplemental hormone replacement
therapy will be required.