Thyroid cancer: Causes, Symptoms and treatments
Thyroid cancer, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), begins in the thyroid gland, which is located inside and in front of the lower neck. It is widespread in many countries around the globe, people suffer from thyroid, although with a controlled medication, it does not necessarily turn into cancer. The most common appearance of the thyroid, is reproduced from the so-called hypothyroidism, that is, decreased activity of the thyroid gland. On the contrary, you can also suffer from thyroid with the so-called hyperthyroidism, that is, the excess increase in the activity of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid Cancer Causes
Although this type of cancer makes it difficult to understand it’s cause, when it appears in a person. One of the leading causes of the appearance of thyroid cancer is the family heredity, the family history that there has been in this regard. If there are cases of thyroid or goiter in your family, there is a high percentage of it going skipping generation after generation, regardless of age (it can appear at any age).
Some other causes that can cause the appearance of this cancer are excessive exposure to radiation, regardless of the time that has passed. The body has memory, and although these radiations would have been produced in our childhood. They can harm in the long run, have palpable nodules in the throat that hinder their normal activity and everything found in it, paralysis of the vocal cords, or chronic hoarseness. Among other more banal causes are the main protagonists of reproducing in the long term, a possible thyroid that leads to a tumour or thyroid cancer.
The symptoms that denote the appearance of a thyroid problem or cancer are very ambiguous since they are symptoms shared with other diseases, and that can mislead the person who suffers from them. For this reason, when the person perceives these first symptoms, they go to the specialist doctor for the discomfort, but in the ignorance that it may be a thyroid problem or if it is already developed, perhaps thinking that it is a simple throat infection.
Some of these symptoms are difficulty swallowing, an enlarged thyroid gland, which causes the neck to get much wider than usual visually, chronic hoarseness, sore throat, weight loss, or, conversely, a rise in excessive weight for no apparent reason.
Once the patient goes to the specialist doctor with these ailments, if other possible diseases are ruled out and after knowing the patient’s history (for example, knowing if more thyroid cases have occurred in the family). The tests will be carried out to determine the appearance or not of cancer and the state in which it is found. First, a tumour blood test is performed. A laryngoscopy is performed. It consists of looking at the throat inside using a flexible probe that contains a mirror where the doctor can visualize if the thyroid gland is affected or in what state it is. Performing a biopsy in which they contract a piece of the gland to examine it or ultrasound of the thyroid. These are the most common tests when analyzing the state of the patient that determines the subsequent treatment.
Thyroid Cancer Treatment
It is important to know beforehand that each patient has a specific treatment depending on the state of their thyroid or cancer development. The specialist doctor will do it based on this.
As a general rule, if cancer can cause excessive problems for the patient, surgery is usually performed where the thyroid gland is removed to leave the affected area clean of malignant cells. In principle, if there are no side effects derived from the operation, with this, the patient will be free of cancer, and with treatment after surgery, he could lead a normal life the rest of the time.
A second option is a radiotherapy or chemotherapy. This treatment can be carried out to avoid surgery if the cancer is not too widespread in the neck or after the operation if it has not been enough to ensure the disappearance of the tumour in the thyroid.
It is essential to know that both after the operation and after radiotherapy and although the patient no longer has a visible appearance of cancer in the thyroid, he should continue taking oral treatment controlled by the specialist doctor. It involves taking a few pills of thyroid hormones for the rest of your life. In this way, the pills help the function and carry out the activity that, in your case, the thyroid gland should do.