The development of cancer cells in Thyroid Gland is termed as Thyroid Cancer. As indicated by National Cancer Institute, 37,000 new cases of Thyroid Cancer were evidenced in year 2009 in US. The cancer in Thyroid Gland is associated by presence of few nodules. Nodules in Thyroid Gland harbor cancer cells are mostly benign and do not cause much harm. There are occasional cases when they become malignant. There are fixed chemotherapy schedules made for providing drugs to patients.
The probability of Thyroid Cancer is more amongst female. There is no specific age for Thyroid Cancer to occur however, the chances increase after 30 years. Thyroid Cancer could be largely of three kinds, the prognosis and treatment varies for each type. These are:
- Papillary and Follicular Cancer: Mostly this is the most common form of Thyroid Cancer. The cure is almost certain, a patient could be alleviated by removing the nodule that shelters the cancer cells
- Medullary Cancer: Medullary Cancer in Thyroid Gland is little difficult to cure as in this state the aberrant cancer cells spread across multiple nodules. The possible treatment is to amputate the complete Thyroid Gland including the two lymph nodes present on both sides of the neck
- Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: This is the most acute form of Thyroid Cancer. The cure is almost unattainable. Largely 95% of the anaplastic cancer is fatal or the survival rate is very exceptional. Cutting off the Thyroid Gland does not clear all nodules. Though tracheostomy could be more effective in this situation
Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
Some common noticeable symptoms of Thyroid Cancer include:
- Presence of nodules in Thyroid Gland
- Hoarseness in voice
- Pain in neck or throat
- Difficulty in swallowing
- A visible lump that could be seen around the patient’s neck
Thyroid Cancer Chemotherapy
Thyroid Cancer has an edge over any other forms of cancer as these cells absorb and condense the mineral iodine directly from our bloodstream to form Thyroid Hormone. This characteristic of Thyroid Gland makes the treatment of Thyroid Cancer uncomplicated. All Thyroid Cancer cells hold on to this activity of absorbing iodine. Radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer works effectively sometimes. Chemotherapy doctors often approach these carcinogenic cells by injecting radioactive iodine in the patient’s body. The cancerous cells absorb and condense this isotopic come poisonous iodine aggressively resulting in self-destruction. The normal thyroid cells could not realize the isotopic iodine and are hence unharmed causing no side effects.
Not all the patients of Thyroid Cancer need radioactive iodine after surgery. A vast majority of cases could be treated by removal of nodules.
Treatment of Thyroid Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer is typically diagnosed by inserting a thin needle in Thyroid nodule and then studying the extract drawn out. In few cases, entire nodule could be taken out. A pathologist under the microscopic purview examines the nodule or nodular extract drawn out. The Pathologist decides which type of Thyroid Cancer i.e. Papillary and Follicular, Medullary or Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer has occurred.
The best treatment for Thyroid Cancer is to remove the complete gland by surgery. The residual cancer cells or nodules could be targeted using radioactive iodine treatment. This is given as a capsule to be eaten orally 4-6 weeks after the surgery
- A week or two after radioactive iodine treatment, the patient is given a regular supplement of Thyroid hormone. No person can live without Thyroid Hormone, which stops after the removal of Thyroid Gland. One has to consume a pill of Thyroid Hormone every day
- The Cancer of Thyroid Gland is very populous but it is therapeutic. In most instances, a surgery or Radio-Isotope Treatment heals it up to 97%.