Thyroid cancer is the commonest endocrine malignancy with more prevalence among women as compared to men.The number of patients with thyroid cancer is increasing worldwide but reasons in still unknown.There are mainly four common varieties of thyroid cancer namely:
- Papillary Thyroid cancer
- Follicular Thyroid cancer
- Medullary Thyroid cancer
- Anaplastic Thyroid cancer
History of radiation exposure or family history of thyroid cancer can make patient more prone for cancer. Most common presentation of thyroid cancer is lump in neck or lump in thyroid gland. Usually in early stage it does not cause much symptoms, so is neglected by most in our community. Other symptoms include change in voice, difficulty in breathing or swallowing or symptoms due to cancer spread like jaundice etc. in advanced stages.
Primary therapy for most of thyroid cancer is surgery.Completeness of surgery along with preservation of important structures like parathyroids and voice nerve is the standard of care. Post surgery patients with papillary and follicular variety is usually subjected for radio-iodine scan to see if there is any distant spread of this tumour.
Iodine therapy is reserved for patient who has thyroid tissue remnant or show any evidence of distant metastasis.
Role of chemotherapy or radiotherapy is limited mainly in cases of anaplastic variety.
Thyroid cancer usually have excellent prognosis ( except varieties like anaplastic etc.)with more than 95% survival rate if detected in time and treated optimally.