Thyroid Cancer

Home / Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. Your thyroid produces hormones that regulate your heart rate, … Read More

Top Doctors For Thyroid Cancer Treatments

Top Hospitals For Thyroid Cancer Treatments

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. Your thyroid produces hormones that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. Thyroid cancer might not cause any symptoms at first. But as it grows, it can cause pain and swelling in your neck. Thyroid cancer is a cancer type that occurs in the cells of the thyroid. Symptoms of thyroid cancer is likely not to be missing in the early stages. But as it continues to grow, it causes pain and swelling in the neck. Thyroid cancer is of varying types, of which some grow very slowly while some can be very aggressive while growing. Most cases of thyroid cancer, if caught early, can be cured with treatment.  Thyroid cancer develops due to abnormal changes to cells of the thyroid. The abnormal cells then begin to multiply and, once there are enough of them, they form a tumor. Thyroid cancer is also the most common of endocrine cancer types.  Several types of thyroid cancer exist. Some grow very slowly and others can be very aggressive. Most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured with treatment and it is proven that turmeric is the best herbal remedy. Thyroid cancer rates seem to be increasing. Some doctors think this is because new technology is allowing them to find small thyroid cancers that may not have been found in the past. Types of thyroid cancer There are several types of thyroid cancer, which has been classified based on the cells found in the tumour. Types of thyroid cancer are;
  • Papillary thyroid cancer: This is the most common form of all thyroid cancers. Papillary thyroid cancer originates from the follicular cells of the thyroid, which are responsible for the production and storage of thyroid hormones.
  • Follicular thyroid cancer: Just like papillary thyroid cancer, follicular thyroid cancer also originates from the follicular cells of the thyroid.
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer: Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a rare form of thyroid cancer, which also originates in the follicular cells of the thyroid cancer. Anaplastic thyroid cancer grows swiftly and is very difficult to treat. Anaplastic thyroid cancer usually occurs in adults of 60 years old and above.
  • Medullary thyroid cancer: Medullary thyroid cancer originates from the thyroid cells known as C cells, which produce the calcitonin hormone. Therefore, elevated levels of calcitonin in the blood may be an indication of medullary thyroid cancer in its early stages. Also, certain genetic syndromes may increase the risk of medullary thyroid cancer, although genetic linkages are very uncommon.
  • Other rare types: Other types of thyroid cancer, which are very rare, include thyroid lymphoma (which originates in the immune system cells of the thyroid) and thyroid sarcoma (which originates in the connective tissue cells of the thyroid).
How thyroid cancer is diagnosed.  Thyroid cancer can be diagnosed with the following tests and procedures;
  • Physical examination: of the neck to feel physical changes in the thyroid, such as thyroid nodules.
  • Blood tests: To determine if the functional state of the thyroid gland, normal or abnormal.
  • Ultrasound imaging: To generate images of the thyroid gland. This helps to thoroughly assess the thyroid gland and determine whether a thyroid nodule is noncancerous (benign) or likely to be cancerous.
  • Tissue biopsy: Samples of suspicious thyroid tissue are taken and analysed in the laboratory to look for cancer cells.
  • Other imaging tests; such as CT scan, MRI scan and nuclear imaging tests that use a radioactive form of iodine may also may be carried out to determine whether the cancer has spread further than the thyroid or not.
  • Genetic testing: Certain people with medullary thyroid cancer may have genetic changes associated with other endocrine cancers. Genetic testing helps to look for genes that may increase the risk of cancer.
Thyroid cancer treatment. There are several thyroid cancer treatment options available. However, the choices chosen depend on the type and stage of the thyroid cancer, the overall health of the patient and their preferences. Most thyroid cancers can, however, be cured with treatment. For some, treatment may not be needed right away, especially when the risk of spreading to other parts of the body is low. Surgery: Most people with thyroid cancer usually undergo surgery to have the thyroid removed. This can be done with different techniques;
  • Thyroidectomy; that is removing all or most of the thyroid. The removal of all of the thyroid glands is known as total thyroidectomy while removal of most of the thyroid tissue is known as near-total thyroidectomy.
  • Thyroid lobectomy; removal of half or a portion of the thyroid.
  • Lymph node dissection; removal of lymph nodes in the neck along with the thyroid.
Thyroid hormone therapy: The use of thyroid hormone medication levothyroxine to supply the missing hormone normally produced by the thyroid, and suppression of the production of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland. This could be for life. Radioactive iodine: The use of a large dose of a form of iodine that’s radioactive to destroy any leftover of healthy thyroid tissue, as well as microscopic parts of thyroid cancer that weren’t removed during surgery. Radioactive iodine treatment may also be the treatment option for a thyroid cancer that recurs after treatment or that spreads to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy: This is a special type of drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. It is usually given as an infusion through a vein. The chemicals travel throughout to body to quickly kill growing cells, including cancer cells. Targeted drug therapy: This focuses on blocking specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By doing so, it can cause the cancer cells to die. Supportive (palliative) care: This is a specialized medical care with focus on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness. It may also be used when undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy.


As mentioned earlier, symptoms of thyroid cancer are absent in the early stages of the disease. However, as thyroid cancer grows, the following symptoms may be noticed;

  • A lump (nodule) that can be felt through the skin on your neck.
  • Changes to the voice tone, including increase in hoarseness.
  • Difficulty with swallowing.
  • Pain in the neck and throat.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Lump in the throat.
  • Cough.


It's not clear what causes thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer occurs when cells in your thyroid undergo genetic changes (mutations). The mutations allow the cells to grow and multiply rapidly. The cells also lose the ability to die, as normal cells would. The accumulating abnormal thyroid cells form a tumor. The abnormal cells can invade nearby tissue and can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.


What are the risk factors to thyroid cancer?

Certain things can increase the risks of thyroid cancer. For instance; 

  • A family history of thyroid cancer.
  • Being a female; women are at an increased risk of thyroid cancer.
  • A history of breast cancer.
  • Previous exposure to high level of radiation.
  • Certain inherited genetic syndromes.

What are the associated complications of thyroid cancer?

The most common complication of thyroid cancer is recurrence.

How is the long term outlook for people with thyroid cancer?

People with thyroid cancer of an early stage generally respond well to treatment and go into remission. Some types of thyroid cancer, however, have a higher rate of recurrence than others.

What tips can help me cope with thyroid cancer?

We all have our unique way of coping with tough situations and crisis. Until you find what genuinely works for you, you may consider trying to;

  • Find out enough about thyroid cancer (such as, types, severity, stage and treatment options) to make decisions about your care.
  • Connect with other thyroid cancer patients and survivors. 
  • Control what you can, as much as you can, about your health.