Get Complete Overview On Hyperthyroidism & Thyroid Cancer From Expert Surgeon.
Although the name Thyroid Cancer sometimes creates fear in the mind, in reality, it is not that scary. In this blog, we see how. Now, some of the most common questions that doctors face these days are, do I have a thyroid problem? and Do you think that it is thyroid cancer? The fear of cancer is very high in our minds, and it is justifiable. We see, all around, a lot of people diagnosed with thyroid disease and opting for treatments.
Let us first understand what is thyroid disease and so-called thyroid problem. The thyroid is very important for our functioning, it is a small gland in the front of our neck. It is approximately 25 grams in weight and is of a butterfly shape. It secretes a substance called as thyroxine which acts as a catalyst for us. So if it is more in quantity, we will experience a rise in blood pressure and pulse. You will probably have very anxious movements, followed by palpitations due to heartbeats running fast.
Now, if it is less, you will become lethargic, not really take interest in things. So it is a subtle kind of movement and both the diseases are at their end of the septum. But none of these diseases are among the known causes of thyroid cancer. They do not cause the thyroid cancer themselves. Thyroid Cancer is a disease which arises in the nodules which can be formed without any certain reason. Multinodular goiter which is very common, even more than low thyroid or high thyroid. Which is called as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
It is estimated that 30% of people will have a thyroid nodule. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have thyroid cancer. It is also important to note that not every thyroid nodule needs to undergo the knife. It is important to keep your nerve and not get it removed by the doctor. As the chances of it being cancer are quite less.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- Frequent, heavy menstrual periods
- Dry, coarse skin and hair
- Weight gain
- Intolerance to cold
- Hoarse voice
- Heat sensitivity
- Vision problems or eye irritation
- Infrequent, scant menstrual periods
- Sleep disturbances
- Enlarged thyroid gland
- Weight loss
- Muscle weakness/tremors
Let us now see how it works. Firstly it is not at all lethal cancer. 95% of thyroid cancer cases are of different thyroid cancers. The thyroid gland has a typical look which is only seen under the microscope. Meaning they look like the original gland, and these thyroid cancers are the little variations of the same. They also take up the same iodine which is actually important for making the hormone. Which can easily be cured with some radioisotope attached to it. Surgical treatment is primary for thyroid cancer. So in a nutshell thyroid cancer is caused by natural causes. The radiations which are all around us is difficult to avoid.
It is difficult to point out saying which radiation leads to thyroid diseases and possibly increase the chances of thyroid cancer. It has increased rapidly particularly in the last 10 years. And again in spite, the increase in thyroid cancer incidence the mortality (death from this disease) has not really increased. Actually, it is considered that only less than 0.5% of people will lose their life after the diagnosis of thyroid cancer. So it is one of curable cancer, and the treatment commonly involves the removal of the thyroid gland.
Most of the times if the cancer is bigger than 2 cms in size, the thyroid gland is totally removed. Preserving voice cord nerves which literally just go below it. The thyroid surgeons who are used to for surgery of thyroid will take extra care to preserve them and safeguard them. There are 4 glands which are called parathyroid glands, which are adjacent to it. Though they have no relation to it, they are actually very important for calcium metabolism. And those glands are also preserved during this surgery.
After the surgery sometimes you require radioactive iodine which is again a one-day treatment. A dose of iodine which is a radioactive isotope is actually taken orally. And the patient goes into isolation for 24 hours and that’s the end of the treatment. So it is actually a very simple treatment as compared to other cancers. Hyperthyroidism which is a tyro toxic disease or grave disease, are other names for increased thyroid hormones. Which are not really a cause for thyroid cancer. Although 6 – 8 % of patients who have thyrotoxin will also have thyroid cancer.
Now there is something called as Hashimoto thyroiditis. Thyroiditis means an infection of the thyroid. This is one of the precursors or a condition where thyroid cancer is actually precipitated by this condition. And this is an autoimmune disease which is not in our control. So, How do we prevent it? We can prevent it by not really working around conditions where most of the radiations fields are there. It is Definitely known to have more increase in the incidence because of the radiation field. And it is hardly possible to prevent the radiations fields around because of the extensive use of mobile phones these days.
On the other hand, there are 2 cancers which are very lethal. They are anaplastic thyroid cancer and another is a medullary thyroid cancer. These are two different cancers. Though they have compiled with thyroid cancer, because they arise from the thyroid gland, they behave completely different.
- Anaplastic cancer is generally noted in the old age and it is with hoarseness of voice and breathing difficulty. It has a very bad prognosis.
- Medullary thyroid cancer is sometimes genetically predetermined. And in case it is necessary to know if any of your family members is also carrying this cancer. Here it is essential to have a genetic opinion or genetic counseling because it can be prevented. If the surgery for thyroid is done very early in the life and then the incidence or the familial incidence is a tune of almost 90%.
A through thyroid cancer diagnosis and counseling is available at Deccan Clinic.