The thyroid is a glad that is located at the base of the neck. If you want to find it touch the area just below your Adam’s apple and you have found the area your thyroid is located. The thyroid glad is very important to the human body in that it produces many of the hormones that are required for it to function.
Some of the hormones that the thyroid is responsible for are helpful in regulating metabolism. Other hormones help to keep our calcium in our bones. The thyroid gland also secretes hormones that affect the heart rate and the rate that the body metabolizes certain nutrients such as glucose.
Lumps may be noticed in the area of the thyroid gland in the neck. A large number of these lumps will be benign or not cancerous. However there are a small portion of lumps or tumors that grow in the thyroid gland that are malignant or cancerous that need to be treated immediately. Anyone that notices a lump around the area of the thyroid gland in the neck should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Some of the symptoms to watch out for with thyroid cancer can include a lump that is fast growing directly below the Adam’s apple in the neck. These lumps can cause difficulty swallowing or hoarseness at times. There can be trouble breathing. People have reported swollen lymph nodes in the neck that are associated with thyroid cancer. Another symptom to be watchful for is pain in the neck or throat area that can spread upward to the ears. Some people can be asymptomatic or have no symptoms early in the process of this disease so it is very important to be evaluated quickly by a medical professional as stated above.
There are several different types of thyroid cancer. Papillary carcinoma is the most common type of thyroid cancer. This type of cancer starts in the follicular cells in the thyroid gland and develops into one solid mass one a lobe of the thyroid. This type of cancer is seen most often in women between the ages of 30 and 50. This type of cancer is known to spread to the lymph nodes early in the process and can be treated with a combination of surgery and radiation treatments.
Follicular cancer is a much more aggressive type of cancer that tends to affect older individuals. This type of cancer spreads by attacking the arteries and veins of the thyroid gland. It then moves to other body organs such as the lungs.
Medullary carcinoma is another type of thyroid cancer. It can be spread to other areas of the body before a lump has even been detected in the thyroid gland. This is due to the malignancy producing a certain type of protein and then releasing this into the bloodstream. There are several types of Medullary carcinomas. Sporatic tumors affect people usually between the ages of 45 and 60. These types of tumors are not genetic in nature and are not inherited. They make up the largest part of medullary carcinomas.
Multiple endocrine neoplasms are a type of medullary carcinoma which are inherited. These are passed down from one generation to the next. These types of cancers are frequently found in much younger people than other types of thyroid cancer. People with these types of tumors will also have tumors in their adrenal and parathyroid glands.
Familial medullary carcinomas are inherited as well however these types of tumors only affect the thyroid gland. They also tend to show up in people who are of the ages of 40 to 50.
Antiplastic carcinoma is a very aggressive type of thyroid cancer. This type of cancer tends to spread very quickly and will affect the lymph nodes, other organs, the lungs and bones. This type of thyroid cancer is hard to treat and usually cannot be corrected surgically as it spreads too quickly to be caught in time. It is also very hard to treat with radiation as well.
Thyroid lymphoma is a very rare type of thyroid cancer which starts in the lymphocytes of the body. These can invade and affect certain organs of the body such as the thyroid gland. There have been cases reported of this type of cancer on a very rare basis.
What are the causes of thyroid cancer? Well, people who have an inherited risk such as those who have been mentioned previously in this article are at a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. Anyone who has a family history of thyroid cancer should be monitored frequently by a physician. Other causes of thyroid cancer are exposure to radiation. People who were exposed to radiation in the past are at a much higher risk of developing thyroid cancer than other people.
Thyroid cancers by and large can be treated successfully with surgery and radiation treatment. However early detection and treatment are the keys to success with any cancer treatment.
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