The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of the neck, at the front. It manufactures two hormones, triiodothyronine, and thyroxine. These hormones maintain temperature regulation, control metabolism, and help to keep the organs and muscles working properly. Thyroid cancer is usually diagnosed by a specialist in otolaryngology (ENT) – ear, nose, and throat. The ear, nose, and throat doctors at Arizona ENT in Sun City West, AZ are dedicated to providing excellent health care for all of their patients. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer.
Thyroid Cancer Signs and Symptoms
Many people who have thyroid cancer do not notice any symptoms. However, the following signs or symptoms may be present:
- A lump in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Changes in the voice
Causes and Risk Factors
There are several different types of thyroid cancer, each with different causes. These include:
- Papillary thyroid cancer: Caused by DNA changes, papillary thyroid cancer is due to changes in the RET gene. They are acquired over a person’s lifetime, not inherited. They cannot be passed on to children.
- Follicular thyroid cancer: This form is often caused by changes to the RAS gene.
- Medullary thyroid cancer: This form also affects the RET gene, though different parts than papillary cancer.
Treatment and Care
Sun City West patients who have thyroid cancer need to talk to a throat doctor about their treatment options. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the type of thyroid cancer you have. Treatment options include:
- Papillary cancer: This type of thyroid cancer is typically treated with thyroid surgery, and in certain cases, it may also be treated with radioactive iodine.
- Follicular cancer: This type of thyroid cancer is typically treated with thyroid surgery, and in certain cases, it may also be treated with radioactive iodine.
- Medullary cancer: Medullary cancer is usually treated with thyroid surgery. Genetic testing may be needed if it is found that the cancer is inherited.
- Anaplastic cancer: This type of thyroid cancer is rapid-growing and will require a specialist medical team to decide what is the best treatment plan.
If you live in Sun City West and you are looking for a throat doctor, contact Arizona ENT at (623) 975-1660 or at their Sun City office at (623) 972-2951 to schedule an appointment.