Thyroid cancer affects the thyroid gland, a small gland that is located just below the larynx, also known as the voice box, the gland produces various hormones designed to keep the human body functioning, if it hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t gotten nutrients it requires people tend to feel lethargic and gain weight.
In a majority of cases the cancer develops very slowly, the first symptom is usually a lump in the neck that grows. Occasionally the cancer may press onto the windpipe and cause breathing problems. There is also a chance that the cancer will be found after cancer has been found elsewhere in the human body. However despite its position on the thyroid gland it rarely affects the production of hormones.
Most thyroid swellings are harmless but it is advised to visit a doctor if any swelling is found. The physician will begin an examination and assess whether the swelling is cancerous, if the physician determines that further examination is needed then tests have to be carried out to assess whether the swelling is benign. Blood samples are taken to test hormone levels and to check general health then a needle is placed into the swelling and a sample is extracted for analysis.
The swelling maybe a simple cyst that needs to be drained so an ultrasound is usually used to get an image of the neck, more thorough scans such as a CT scan or an MRI maybe used to get a full picture of the body and check whether any other cancerous cells are present elsewhere.
The usual treatment for thyroid cancer is to perform surgery on the affected area to remove any cancerous cells, usually that is all that is needed in the case thyroid cancer. However the cancer may have spread to other areas and radiotherapy is usually used in that case.
Filed Under: Thyroid Cancer
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