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Know All About Thyroid Cancer

My Friend Alexa 2021: Post 6

Thyroid Cancers are found in the thyroid gland which is responsible for the regulation of the metabolic rate of our body. Thyroid nodules are very common but thyroid cancers are found less often. Only 1.2% of the population has been found to be suffering from Thyroid Cancer. It’s one of the cancers with a very good prognosis if diagnosed early. The cause of cancer is still not certain but risk factors have been found to be associated with it.

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Risk factors:

  • Gender: more common in women 1:3
  • Age group: 25-65 years
  • Radiation exposure
  • Family history of thyroid cancer
  • Long-standing Goiter
  • Having genetic condition: FMTC (Familial Medullary Thyroid Cancer)/ MEN 2A (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia)/ MEN 2B.

Types of Thyroid Cancers:

  • Papillary Thyroid Cancer: 80% of all thyroid cancers. Very good prognosis, rarely fatal.
  • Follicular Thyroid Cancer: 15% of all thyroid cancers, has tendency to spread in Lungs, Bone, other organs. It has Metastatic tendencies, so slightly challenging to treat.
  • Medullary thyroid Cancer: nearly 2% of Thyroid Cancers. It tends to run in family, due to genetic mutation.
  • Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: 2% of thyroid cancers. It’s very aggressive type of cancer by the time it’s detected it has already spread to surrounding organs and is most of the times fatal.
Prevalence of Thyroid Cancer

Signs & Symptoms:

Thyroid Cancer usually doesn’t have any different presenting symptoms that’s why it’s detected slightly late. The most common presenting symptom is neck swelling, few grave signs of progression includes

Grave signs:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Pain in swelling
  • Sudden increase in size of swelling
  • Swelling elsewhere in the body
  • Change in voice
  • Difficulty in swallowing


  • Ultrasonography
  • CECT Neck
  • FNAC/ Biopsy
  • Blood investigations: Thyroid Function Test

Investigations specific to Thyroid Cancers:

  • Chest X Ray: to rule out lung metastasis
  • Bone Scan: for bone metastasis
  • Sentinel Node Biopsy

Treatment options:

  • Thyroid Surgery
    • Hemithyroidectomy (Partial thyroid removal)
    • Total Thyroidectomy (total thyroid gland removal)
    • Completion Thyroidectomy (when cancer comes in histopathology report of previously operated thyroid gland then complete removal of thyroid gland is done in second stage)
    • Near Total thyroidectomy (Small part of thyroid is left behind)
  • Radiation Therapy:
    • External radiation therapy: external beam radiation is given to the body.
    • Internal radiation Therapy: a source of radiation like Pin/ needle/ catheter is inserted in the thyroid gland which contains radiation.
    • Radio Iodine Ablation Therapy
  • Thyroid Hormone Therapy:
  • Chemotherapy: the drugs target the cancer cells and destroy them.
  • Targeted Therapy:
    • Tyrocine Kinase Inhibitor
    • Protein Kinase Inhibitor

They have fewer complications in comparison to chemotherapy

Immunotherapy: new type of treatment has been offered for Cancers but it’s under trial.

After thyroid surgeries, the patient has to take hormone replacement therapy since no one can survive without thyroid hormone.

It’s an extensive topic I’ve tried to cover as much as I can but I’ve still covered the tip of the topic only.

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Disclaimer: This post is a part of Blogchatter’s My friend Alexa 2021 Challenge.


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