Thyroid cancer affects the cells within the thyroid gland. It is thought to be the most common endocrine cancer. It is not common in the United States. However, recent statistics reveal an increase in the rates of thyroid cancer. The statistics for 2019 have estimated 52,070 new cases will be diagnosed. It is the most common cancer among women age 20-34.
It is still unclear what exactly is causing the abnormal changes in the thyroid gland cells. Risk factors include a family history of thyroid and breast cancer. Women have been diagnosed more commonly with thyroid cancer as compared with men. It is most likely that it will develop after the age of 40.
There are several different types of thyroid cancer. Of all, it is the papillary thyroid cancer that is considered to be the most common one. Although it is the most common one, it is less dangerous than other types, and it is highly treatable.
Early thyroid cancer does not cause any symptoms. As thyroid cancer progresses, the following symptoms are experienced:
- Pain in the neck;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- A lump in the throat;
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck.
Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Treatment depends on the type of cancer that is diagnosed. In most cases, surgical removal of the thyroid cancer, along with a removal of a part or the entire thyroid gland, is recommended. Radiation therapy, radioactive iodine, chemotherapy, and hormone replacement therapy can also be used after surgical removal.
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