6 Signs Of Thyroid Cancer You Should Never Ignore, According To Doctors
The problem with thyroid cancer is that it can remain undetected and when you decide to go for a casual thyroid checkup, you suddenly find you’re diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of thyroid cells which then tend to spread to other parts of the body. This uncontrolled growth in the thyroid cells happens when these cells acquire genetic mutations. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits just below your voice-box. But, women are more likely to develop thyroid cancer in comparison to men.
Does thyroid cancer mainly affect women?
Although this disease affects all age groups of any gender, women who are in their 40s or 50s are frequently diagnosed with this. While experts are still unsure why thyroid cancer occurs more in women, they still have some theories on the subject. In fact, the risk of developing thyroid cancer is evenly distributed among boys and girls before puberty. An increased in susceptibility to the disease is noticed in women only after their puberty. This could possibly be due to the female hormones, but the real reason is yet to be discovered.
Thyroid cancer has been increasing
According to the American Cancer Society, over the past three decades thyroid cancer has been the most rapidly increasing cancer within the U.S. However, this cancer is easily detected as it is usually found during other medical procedures like in a neck imaging study to check for blocked arteries or even a regular physical exam.
While the cases of thyroid cancer have increased, experts haven’t determined whether this rise was due to over-diagnosis or an increase in the disease itself. Understanding this is crucial since there is a very wide spectrum for the various forms of thyroid cancer.
The types of thyroid cancer: Differentiated thyroid cancer
Differentiated thyroid cancer accounts for well over 90% of thyroid cancer cases and is further broken down into subtypes of follicular, papillary, or Hurthle cell carcinoma. This cancer usually develops in the thyroid cells which perform the basic thyroid functions of producing and releasing hormones.
However, the prognosis is very good for most differentiated thyroid cancers and papillary cancer since they don’t cause unusual tumors and don’t typically act in an aggressive way.
Medullary thyroid cancer
Medullary thyroid cancer originates in the “C cells” rather than the thyroid cells. The “C cells” are responsible for producing a hormone called calcitonin which decreases the calcium levels in the bloodstream for other animals. But, humans don’t require this hormone or the need to decrease calcium levels which is why it is not essential for us. But, people about 1/4 of patients who were diagnosed with medullary cancer also inherited this condition.