Thyroid cancer is one of the diseases that affect the thyroid gland. There are different types of thyroid cancer, but most develop slowly and, in most cases, can be treated with the right diagnosis.
How can you tell if you have thyroid cancer? What is the survival rate? What are the symptoms, treatments and life expectancy?
The thyroid is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones. One of its biggest tasks is to regulate the metabolism. It ensures the proper functioning of most of its cells.
What is thyroid cancer?
Thyroid cancer is a tumor that usually appears as a lump or mass in the thyroid gland. It is caused by the abnormal growth of a group of cells and can be benign or malignant. It occurs when cells multiply too quickly for the immune system to control.
There are several types of thyroid cancer, but there are two that are most common.
Papillary Thyroid Cancer
It is the most common form and mainly affects the age group between 30 and 50 years. Most papillary tumors are small and respond well to treatment. Few of them are aggressive and can metastasize.
Follicular Thyroid Cancer
It is more common in people over the age of 50. It is rare for thyroid follicular cancer cells to spread to the lymph nodes in the neck. However, there is a risk of lung and bone metastases.
These two types of thyroid cancer account for about 95 percent of cases. Apart from these rare but aggressiveanaplastic thyroid cancer and medullary thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer can also be of lymphatic origin or originate in muscle or cartilage tissue. Metastatic tumors originating from other internal organs can also occur.
How dangerous is thyroid cancer?
The level of danger depends on the species, as a large percentage of thyroid cancers are non-aggressive. In the case of stage one or stage two cancer, the cancer responds well to treatment and affects only the gland. Advanced stages can mean the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
Most thyroid cancers do not cause any obvious symptoms at first. Symptoms appear as the tumor itself grows. TO The most common symptom is a lump. However, it should be noted that not all lumps or nodules in the thyroid are cancerous. More than 90 percent of thyroid nodules are noncancerous.
Symptoms to watch out for are:
– A lump that can be felt under the fingers when touching the neck,
– feeling of tension in the neck,
– voice changes and hoarseness,
– Difficulties swallowing,
– difficulty breathing,
– swollen lymph nodes in the neck,
– Pain in the neck and throat.
Causes of Thyroid Cancer
It is not known exactly what causes thyroid cancer to develop. What is certain is that there is a change in the DNA in thyroid cells. There are also diseases that can negatively affect the development of thyroid tumors. These are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Cowden’s syndrome, Basedow’s syndrome, thyroid adenoma and familial adenomatous polyposis. Those who are exposed to chemical solvents at work are also at risk. Genetic mutations also have some implications. Compared to men, women are more prone to developing thyroid cancer due to greater hormonal changes in the reproductive system. One of the risk factors is goiter, which in some cases can predispose to cellular malignancy.
There are known potential risk factors.
– gender (more common in women),
– radiation exposure,
– History of thyroid goiter,
– Family history of thyroid cancer or thyroid disorders,
– iodine deficiency (associated with follicular thyroid cancer),
– Overweight or obese.
Thyroid cancer treatment and life expectancy
Possible treatments for thyroid cancer depend on the type of cancer and the stage, ie how advanced it is. The main treatments are surgical interventions. The entire gland is usually surgically removed except in cases where the spread is small. In most cases, the lymph nodes involved in the disease are also removed.
Thyroid cancer occurs in 1-2 percent compared to other cancers and affects more women than men. The mortality rate is very low, especially if timely intervention is made. After the operation, the patient can usually lead a normal life. Therefore, it is usually treatable and in most cases the person recovers, but sometimes the cancer can come back after treatment.
While the patient should receive thyroid hormone-based treatment after surgery, for papillary and follicular thyroid cancer at risk of metastasis, the person receives radioactive iodine therapy.
Most thyroid cancers are treatable. Papillary and follicular carcinomas, the most common types, have a cure rate of over 98 percent. Timely diagnosis is beneficial for recovery.
Marrow cancer has a worse course and can spread to the lymph nodes. Anaplastic thyroid cancer has a very poor prognosis because it is very aggressive and is usually detected at an advanced stage.
What organs can thyroid cancer spread to?
Once thyroid cancer has been identified, it is necessary to look for metastases (splash). What organs does thyroid cancer metastasize to?
Lung metastases are the most common, but it is not the only one. Therefore, the doctor will recommend an MRI to get detailed images of the inside of the body. When thyroid cancer spreads, it affects the lymph nodes, bones, brain, liver, and skin throughout the body, primarily in the neck.
7 foods that are good for the thyroid
Diet plays a very important role in thyroid function. It is known that iodine, zinc and selenium deficiencies in particular can lead to a deterioration in the thyroid gland.
Here are 7 foods known to have positive effects on the thyroid:
Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon, trout, tuna, and sardines improve thyroid function. Omega 3 is especially necessary to prevent hypothyroidism. Untreated hypothyroidism increases the risk of heart disease due to high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.
Fish is also a good source of selenium, a beneficial nutrient for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
Potatoes are rich in selenium and help the thyroid function properly. It’s also necessary to limit consumption of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, as these can block the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine, an element necessary for normal thyroid function.
There is a link between vitamin D deficiency and Hashimoto’s disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Milk, which contains vitamin D as well as significant amounts of calcium, protein, and iodine, helps the thyroid function properly.
Another good source of selenium is walnuts. It is a useful snack that can be taken anywhere. They can also enrich salads or desserts. 2-3 walnuts are enough to provide a good source of selenium.
Constipation is a common symptom in patients with hypothyroidism. Whole foods like whole grains and brown rice are high in fiber, which can facilitate gut motility and balance its regularity.
Beans are a great source of energy as they contain protein, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates and many vitamins and minerals. They’re also high in fiber, which fights constipation, a common side effect of hypothyroidism.
Algae are high in iodine, an essential nutrient for thyroid function. Iodine is the precursor to thyroid hormone production. Another benefit is that it contains fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.