The Truth About Thyroid Cancer | Causes, Symptoms, Types & Treatments

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. It is a butterfly-shaped endocrine organ located in the anterior of the neck. The thyroid gland is about the size of an almond and is found below Adam’s apple. The gland produces two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).

T4 is a vital hormone for normal metabolic processes in the body and is produced by the thyroid gland. T3 is involved in brain development and regulates the growth rate of bones, muscles, and teeth.

Thyroid cancer is relatively rare, but it is estimated that approximately 33,000 people will be diagnosed with it in the United States this year, only among women. The disease is more commonly found in women, but the most aggressive type of thyroid cancer is more common in males.

In this article, we will cover all you need to know as a patient about this cancer, the types of thyroid cancer there are, and a brief overview of the signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and treatment options.

What is Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the thyroid gland. It is the most common endocrine-related cancer and is most common in women between the ages of 30 and 50. There are various types of thyroid cancer, including papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic. Papillary and follicular thyroid cancers are the most common and tend to have a better prognosis.

Treatment for thyroid cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted drug therapy. Surgery is the most common treatment and can range from removing a portion of the thyroid gland to removing the entire gland or a combination of these. In this article, we will devote the final part to talk briefly about treatment options.

Causes of Thyroid Cancer

While the exact cause of thyroid cancer is unknown, several risk factors have been identified. The primary risk factors include a family history of thyroid cancer, exposure to radiation, especially during childhood, and certain genetic conditions. Additionally, older individuals and females are more likely to develop this type of cancer.

Certain lifestyle choices and environmental factors have been linked to the development of thyroid cancer. These include diets high in processed and fatty foods, exposure to certain toxic chemicals, and living in areas with higher pollution levels. Furthermore, studies have found links between obesity and thyroid cancer, suggesting that this health condition may be a significant risk factor.

In addition to these risk factors, certain medical conditions are associated with an increased risk of developing this type of cancer. These include autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto’s disease, and other conditions that affect the thyroid gland, such as goiter and Graves’ disease.

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