Types of Cancer
Thyroid cancer affects the thyroid which is a small butterfly-shaped gland located above the Adam’s apple in the front of the neck. The thyroid via hormone production regulates the body’s metabolism including blood pressure, body temperature, weight, and heart rate. Several types of thyroid cancer exists and grow slowly except in some rare circumstances. CT and MRI scans are able to locate and identify thyroid cancer often while incidentally searching for other diseases.
Types of thyroid cancers include:
1. Differentiated thyroid cancers is a broad category that start in the follicular cells that produce and store thyroid hormones. They appear healthy when viewed under microscope so detection can be difficult.
a. Papillary thyroid cancer is common for those between the ages of 30-50. They are generally small and respond well to treatment.
b. Follicular thyroid cancer is a rate type of cancer affecting those 50+. They don’t often spread to the lymph nodes in the neck but when aggressive can spread to the lungs and bones.
c. Hurthle cell thyroid cancer is also a rare cancer. This cancer is aggressive and can cause growths on the neck and other parts of the body.
d. Poorly differentiated thyroid cancer is difficult to treat because how quickly it can grow.
2. Medullary thyroid cancer affect C cells which produce the hormone calcitonin. Causes of this cancer can be a gene called RET that can pass from parent to child.
3. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is rare can be difficult to treat. It affects people 60+ and swelling of the neck with associated difficult of breathing can occur.
What you should know
Thyroid cancer affect more women than men primarily related to the hormone estrogen in females. Genetics and exposure to radiation particularly in the neck can also increase the risk of thyroid cancer.
Most thyroid cancers don’t show early signs or symptoms. However, as the cancer grows, a lump or nodule can be felt under the skin on the neck. Other complications in the neck area include increasing hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, swelling of the lymph nodes, pain in the neck and throat, and tighter fitting shirts with collars.
Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are common conventional treatments for thyroid cancer which can be very aggressive on the body. Other less invasive therapies to consider include more innovative methods that include immunotherapies. Schedule a consult with our medical staff to better understand how Dayspring Cancer Clinic can help you with your therapy options.