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Thyroid Cancer Awareness

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Thyroid cancer is not known as the deadliest of cancers, although cases of thyroid cancer are on a rise in the U.S. You shouldn't let complacency deprive you of a timely diagnosis and an appropriate treatment procedure. Spreading thyroid cancer awareness is the priority of various organizations, set-up for the same cause. These organizations hold various events dedicated to the cause of spreading awareness and also use various forms of media like television, print-media and social-networking sites for their cause.

Early-signs:

If you think that you have a persistent throat/neck condition causing unease, it should better be attended to by your Doctor. Few symptoms related to development of thyroid cancer are listed below:

  • Pain in neck or throat
  • Uneasiness in swallowing
  • Persistent cough
  • Lasting hoarseness of voice
  • Internal swelling in neck
  • Lump in the neck around Adam's apple
  • Depression

Thyroid cancer awareness is best spread through word-of-mouth, if you or any of your dear ones exhibit any one of the symptoms mentioned above, it would be wisdom to see your Physician for elaborate diagnosis. Prejudices related to cancer are as dangerous as cancer itself.

List of Causes:

It is really important to spread thyroid cancer awareness as most of the people affected by the disease remain unaware of it. Thyroid cancer can be related to a variety of causes, women are more prone to the development of thyroid cancer. Age also plays an important role in determining the risks a person carries. Diet, history of radiation therapy etc., fall among the causes. Some of the most common risk-factors are listed below:

  • Lack of Iodine
  • Radiation
  • Age: Above 50 for women, above 60 for men
  • Gender
  • History of thyroid cancer in the family

Diagnosis:

The thyroidologist may perform several tests to detect the exact cause of malignancy, to check if malignancy exists in the first place or not. The lump or the nodule that is detected is benign or not harmful in majority of the cases. The Doctor may perform several or one of the following diagnostic methods:

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests e.g. T3,T4 and TSH tests
  • Biopsy
  • Scans

In order to get the exact picture of the damage done by the cancer, it is essential to perform biopsy along with the different scanning techniques. The ways of diagnosis is one of the most significant aspects of thyroid cancer awareness.

Types:

Thyroid cancer is staged according to the type of cancer and the reach of the malignant cells. They are classified as follows:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer
  • Follicular thyroid cancer
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer

Differentiated thyroid cancer like papillary and follicular have high chances of complete recovery. Medullary thyroid cancer is related to the passing of genetic disorders through generations, of a family.

Treatment:

Thyroid cancer treatment involves in-depth study of the subject and selecting the most suitable mode of treatment. The papillary thyroid cancer is the most common in masses and has the best recovery statistic along with follicular thyroid cancer. Medullary thyroid cancer is developed in cells which develop and maintain calcium in blood and can also be hereditary. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the most radical of all, though very uncommon. Few treatment procedures include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Clinical Trial

Surgeries are the most common of all treatment procedures; they ensure minimum side-effects. Radiation therapy or Radioactive Iodine can completely cure the cancer though at the cost of benign, hormone-secreting area of the gland; that are related to secretion of various important hormones. Hence it is essential that a subject undergoes artificial hormone inducing therapy to compensate for the loss. Patients opting for clinical treatment help in research and help the growth of thyroid cancer awareness.

Prognosis:

All types of thyroid cancer except the anaplastic thyroid cancer have high survival rates. Prognosis includes tests aimed at the diagnosis of recurrent behavior of the cancer. It also includes a list of dos and don'ts that help the individual in coping with the post-treatment side-effects and to avoid relapse.

Prevention:

Though exact causes of thyroid cancer are difficult to figure out, few tips on prevention are as follows:

  • Avoiding unnecessary exposure to radiation
  • Ensuring presence of required levels of iodine in the diet
  • And removal of thyroid gland in case of a family history related to the disease

Thyroid cancer awareness is growing by leaps and bounds thus enabling the victims to have a positive approach towards the treatment procedures and life in general.

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