What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a disease that is relatively less common. However, it can affect a few thousand people. What exactly is it? What are the factors that cause the development of thyroid cancer? For people with the disease, it is essential to detect the symptoms in order to better treat this thyroid tumour.

Thyroid cancer: What is it?

The thyroid is a small gland of the endocrine system located in the front of the neck, under the larynx and close to the trachea. It is made up of two lobes which give it a butterfly shape. Its role is to produce the thyroid hormones that help the human body function properly. Thyroid cancer is a malignant tumour that takes place in the cells of this small gland. It can then spread to neighbouring parts of the body. There are several types, including differentiated and undifferentiated tumours and medullary cancer. Differentiated tumours are the most common and are divided into two sub-categories: papillary and follicular cancers.

What causes thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer can be caused by exposure of the thyroid gland to radiation. It can occur during your visit to hospital for radiotherapy near parts of this gland. Indeed, it can be promoted by an x-ray of the head, chest or neck. It is most likely to occur during childhood. Exposure to radiation from nuclear bombs can also cause this cancer. The risks of some of these radioactive exposures may not occur until some years later. From another point of view, this may be due to a genetic background. Thyroid cancer can also develop from a goitre or nodule in the gland.

Symptoms and treatment of thyroid cancer

There are tests that can be done to detect thyroid disease. Treatment for thyroid cancer is important to prevent it from spreading to neighbouring areas. Symptoms usually appear as a nodule, which can be discovered by feeling your neck or during an ultrasound scan. This cancer can be treated in three ways: surgery, radioactive iodine and hormone therapy. Of course, there are several diagnostic steps that must be taken before these treatments can be started. To eradicate the tumour, it is ideal to opt for surgery.
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