About thyroid cancer- a lump in the neck
Thyroid is a butterfly shape gland located in front of neck. It can have functional problems (Hypothyroidism/ Hyperthyroidism) or can have anatomical problems( Goiter/ Thyroid Cancer). An enlarged thyroid is called the goiter.
Sometimes the entire gland is large (diffuse) while at other times, the goiter is nodular, meaning it has nodules in them. The thyroid nodules are usually benign, but in some cases, can be cancerous. These nodules usually contain colloid filled with the thyroid hormone but at times, these nodules harbor cancer cells which are the matter of concern. While 50% nodules can be felt by the doctor during a physical examination, a clear picture can be attained with the help of ultrasound. Any suspicious looking nodule should be biopsied to rule out any cancerous growth. Out of the thyroid cancer cases, the majority are papillary variety.
Around 56000 new cases of thyroid cancer are recorded each year in the U.S- National Cancer Institute.It is more common among females as compared to male in the ratio of 3:1.
The following can be the symptoms of thyroid cancer:
• A swelling or a lump in the neck is the most common symptoms of thyroid cancer.
• There can be hoarseness in your voice.
• You can have trouble swallowing your food.
• You can have breathing issues.
• You can develop frequent coughs, which is unrelated to a cold.
• Yousometimes can experience pain in the neck.
Treatment of thyroid cancer
Majority of thyroid cancers need adequate surgical treatment in form of removal of part of thyroid gland, entire thyroid gland without or without removal of lymph nodes in the neck. This is usually followed by Whole body radio-iodine Scan and if required ablation.Radioactive iodine is given as a capsule or a liquid after the surgery. It destroys the cancer cells, left after the surgery. There is limited role of chemotherapy or radiotherapy in certain thyroid varieties. People with thyroid cancer usually got cured ifthe cancer is diagnosed early and treated well.
If you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, consult a specialist in the field who carefully analyses your condition and suggest the further line of treatment.