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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thyroid Cancer and Surgery - Lesson 323

Thyroid Cancer is the topic matter of this post. We will learn about another important abnormal condition of thyroid gland that is carcinoma or cancer of thyroid glands. We will learn briefly about how cancer forms, spreads inside the gland and outside, and what is the treatment methods. In general, there are two types, such as, benign tumors and carcinomas. In these, adenomas in thyroid are benign tumor types. Adenomas are not dangerous like thyroid carcinomas. Carcinomas are malignant cancer formation inside thyroid glands. Some cancers may develop somewhat in a slow manner, but other types may develop somewhat faster, and some may spread cancer to the adjacent areas too from the origin of cancer area.

Thyroid adenomas Vs Thyroid Carcinomas:  How can we differentiate a thyroid adenoma from thyroid cancer. When we check for cancers using radioactive iodine tracer, the specialists can differentiate them and identify they type of cancer by reading them. Benign tumor sites in the body would have more radioactivity than the other surrounding normal cells. High radioactivity in any place portrays the state of hyperthyroidism and benign cancer.  Sometimes it is not easy  to identify whether it is benign or malignant.  So doing a fine-needle aspiration test is highly useful to identify the type of cancer. A surgical biopsy can also be useful in cancer diagnosis. Excision of cancer area is also another important method for diagnosis of disease. There are four types of thyroid malignancies, such as, follicular, papillary, anaplastic and medullary.

Thyroid Carcinoma Symptoms: Formation of lump in the neck, neck enlargement, lymph nodes enlargement, hoarse voice, difficulty in swallowing, breathing difficulties, pain or sensitivity in the neck area, cough are the common symptoms of thyroid disease.

Thyroid Malignancy Treatment: In general, surgical excision is a common treatment for any cancer. After cancer is confirmed by blood tests, ultrasound, thyroid scan, and any biopsies, the treatment method is decided. Treatment may be surgery, hormone injection, radioactive iodine application, external radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The above-mentioned treatments may be given separately or in combination. A followup care is important after the treatment too.

In the next post, we will learn about parathyroid gland abnormalities.

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