Thyroid Cancer mostly affects women over the age of 40, although it can affect all age groups from children to seniors. While Thyroid Cancer diagnosis is not increasing at an alarming rate and prognosis is very good, it tends to have a 30% recurrence rate that is increasing. This type of cancer tends to be “silent” in early stages, meaning it shows no symptoms and may or may not be caught early because of lack of the lack of symptoms.
Thyroid Cancer is the most common endocrine cancer with symptoms ranging from lumps or nodules forming in front of the neck, pain in the neck or throat areas, swollen lymph nodes, hoarseness, or difficulty in speaking, swallowing, or breathing. There are also several types of Thyroid Cancer, including papillary, follicular, medullary, anaplastic, and variants. Papillary and Follicular account for over 90% of the diagnosed cases and is deemed the easiest to treat. Medullary accounts for 3-4%, and is much easier to treat and control if found before it spreads. Anaplastic is the least common; it accounts for only 1-2% and is the most difficult to control because of its aggressiveness.
Depending on the diagnosis, there are several ways to treat Thyroid Cancer: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and in some cases radioactive iodine treatment. In most instances, patients undergo surgery to remove the Thyroid gland and are then placed on hormone replacement therapy as ongoing treatment.
If you have a family history of Thyroid Cancer, if you are female over the age of 40, or if you have had prior exposure of the Thyroid gland to radiation – you are in a much higher risk group. We encourage you to be seen or have a periodic follow-up if you fall into this high risk category or have experienced the symptoms mentioned above. We will review your medical history together, provide testing, or examination to ensure your health and safety.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today. (770) 237-3000