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thyroid cancer

thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is a disease that you get when abnormal cells begin to grow in your thyroid gland camera.gif. The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and is located in the front of your neck. It makes hormones that regulate the way your body uses energy and that help your body work normally.

Thyroid cancer is an uncommon type of cancer. Most people who have it do very well, because the cancer is usually found early and the treatments work well. After it is treated, thyroid cancer may come back, sometimes many years after treatment.

Experts don't know what causes thyroid cancer. But like other cancers, changes in the DNA of your cells seem to play a role. These DNA changes may include changes that are inherited as well as those that happen as you get older.

People who have been exposed to a lot of radiation have a greater chance of getting thyroid cancer.

A dental X-ray now and then will not increase your chance of getting thyroid cancer. But past radiation treatment of your head, neck, or chest (especially during childhood) can put you at risk of getting thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer can cause several symptoms:

    You may get a lump or swelling in your neck. This is the most common symptom.
    You may have pain in your neck and sometimes in your ears.
    You may have trouble swallowing.
    You may have trouble breathing or have constant wheezing.
    Your voice may be hoarse.
    You may have a frequent cough that is not related to a cold.

Some people may not have any symptoms. Their doctors may find a lump or nodule in the neck during a routine physical exam.

If you have a lump in your neck that could be thyroid cancer, your doctor may do a biopsy of your thyroid gland to check for cancer cells. A biopsy is a simple procedure in which a small piece of the thyroid tissue is removed, usually with a needle, and then checked.

Sometimes the results of a biopsy are not clear. In this case, you may need surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland before you find out if you have thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer is treated with surgery and often with radioactive iodine. It rarely needs radiation therapy or chemotherapy. What treatment you need depends on your age, the type of thyroid cancer you have, and the stage of your disease. Stage refers to how severe the disease is and how far, if at all, the cancer has spread.

Finding out that you have cancer can be overwhelming. It's common to feel scared, sad, or even angry. Talking to others who have had thyroid cancer may help. Ask your doctor about cancer support groups in your area.

Most thyroid cancer cannot be prevented.

One rare type of thyroid cancer, called medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), runs in families. A genetic test can tell you if you have a greater chance of getting MTC. If this test shows that you have an increased risk, you can have your thyroid gland removed to reduce your risk for thyroid cancer later in life
Thyroid cancer can cause many symptoms, including:

    A lump or swelling in your neck. This is the most common symptom.
    Pain in your neck and sometimes in your ears.
    Difficulty swallowing.
    Difficulty breathing or constant wheezing.
    Hoarseness that is not related to a cold.
    A cough that continues and is not related to a cold.

Some people may not have any symptoms. Their doctors may find a lump or nodule in the neck during a routine physical examThyroid cancer is a disease that occurs when abnormal cells begin to grow in the thyroid gland. You may notice a lump in your neck and then go to your doctor. Or your doctor may notice a lump during a routine physical exam or on an imaging test that you are having for another health problem.

Thyroid cancer is usually found before the cancer has spread very far. This means that most people who are treated for thyroid cancer do very well. After it is treated, thyroid cancer may come back, sometimes many years after treatment.

Before starting your treatment, your doctor needs to find out which type of thyroid cancer you have. A biopsy can identify your type of cancer. During a biopsy, a small piece of thyroid tissue is removed, usually with a fine needle. The thyroid tissue cells are then examined under a microscope.

It is also important to find out the stage of your cancer. Staging is a way for your doctor to tell how far, if at all, the cancer has spread. It also helps your doctor decide what kind of treatment you need. Staging generally depends on the results of your radioactive iodine scan.

If you have your thyroid gland surgically removed, you will probably need to take thyroid hormone medicine for the rest of your life to replace the hormones that were made by your thyroid. Taking it will help regulate your metabolism and other body functions
. Most people with thyroid cancer have surgery to remove the cancer. You may have part or all of your thyroid removed.

The kind of surgery you have may depend on your age, the type of cancer you have, how much the cancer has spread, and your general health.
Surgery choices

    Thyroid lobectomy removes only one part (lobe) of the thyroid gland. This surgery is an option if your cancer is small and is only in one lobe of your thyroid gland.
    Near-total thyroidectomy removes all but a very small part of the thyroid gland. This is done in special cases with smaller tumors or if an experienced surgeon is not available.
    Total thyroidectomy removes the entire thyroid gland. This is the most common type of surgery. It provides the highest rates of cure and also makes radioactive iodine treatment and thyroid hormone therapy work better.

During surgery, lymph nodes in the neck may also be removed and tested for cancer cells (lymphadenectomy). If thyroid cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, radioactive iodine will be used to destroy the remaining cancer cells.

Most thyroid cancers grow and spread so slowly that you can delay surgery for a short time if you need to. If you choose to postpone surgery, your thyroid cancer should be watched closely by an endocrinologist.

Surgery to remove only the part of the thyroid gland that contains cancer (lobectomy) is less complicated than total thyroidectomy and less likely to lead to hypothyroidism. But thyroid cancer comes back (recurs) after lobectomy more often than it does after total thyroidectomy.

If you and your doctor decide that you need surgery, it is important to have the procedure done by a highly skilled surgeon at a hospital that has a good success rate. There are fewer problems from surgery when a person has a skilled and experienced surgeon.2

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
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  23  Jul  2015 ,

Member of Iranian Association of Surgeon
Member of Iran obesity society
board certificated surgeon

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