Posts for tag: Thyroid Cancer
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.
What is Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer involves having cancerous cells and tissue where your thyroid gland is located. The thyroid is a gland at the base of your neck, right below your Adam’s apple. This gland produces important hormones to regulate your blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and your body temperature.
You may be at higher risk of thyroid cancer if you are a woman, have a family history of thyroid cancer, or have had high levels of exposure to radiation.
There are several types of thyroid cancer, including:
- Papillary thyroid cancer, which is the most common type; it shows up in follicular cells which make and store the thyroid hormones. Papillary thyroid cancer is more common in people aged 30 to 50.
- Follicular thyroid cancer, which also occurs in the follicular cells; this type of thyroid cancer typically happens to people over age 50.
- Medullary thyroid cancer, which starts in the C cells; the cells that produce the hormone calcitonin; if calcitonin levels are elevated, it can indicate medullary thyroid cancer.
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer, which is a rare, fast-growing form of thyroid cancer; this type of thyroid cancer typically affects people who are at least 60 years old.
- Thyroid lymphoma, which is a rare type of thyroid cancer starting in the immune system cells; thyroid lymphoma typically happens to older adults.
Thyroid cancer often has mild or no symptoms, but there are a few recognizable signs and symptoms to pay attention to. According to the Mayo Clinic, some common signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer include:
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
- Pain in your neck or throat
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Chronically hoarse voice
- A lump in your neck
Thyroid cancer treatment works best in the early stages of the disease. Your doctor may recommend these effective treatments for thyroid cancer:
- Surgical procedures, to remove a portion or all of your thyroid gland and associated lymph nodes
- Radioactive iodine therapy, to destroy remaining thyroid tissue to prevent the cancer from spreading
- Thyroid hormone treatment, to replace missing thyroid hormone
Your thyroid performs an important function by producing hormones which are vital to the proper functioning of your body. You can help protect your thyroid by visiting your doctor regularly for a physical examination and lab testing if necessary.