Thyroid cancer begins in the thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck at the base of the throat. The thyroid gland regulates the body’s hormones as well as other key functions of the body. While thyroid cancer is not as common as other cancers, the thyroid does play a major part in the body and should be checked during routine annual examinations
While thyroid cancer can occur at any age, women are more likely to be diagnosed in their 40s and 50s while men are more likely to be diagnosed in their 60s or 70s. Thyroid cancer is more likely to occur in women than in men.
Doctors that treat thyroid cancer are called endocrinologists. Endocrinologists are specialists who work with the endocrine system related to glands and the associated hormones that help regulate multiple functions of the body such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and metabolism. Radiation and medical oncologists also assist in treating thyroid cancer using radiation and chemotherapy.
Thyroid cancer can be caused by multiple factors including age, gender and more. People who have a family history of thyroid cancer or have been exposed to high levels of radiation are at a higher risk to develop thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer typically does not cause any signs or symptoms early in the disease. As thyroid cancer grows symptoms may vary from patient to patient, but the main thyroid cancer symptoms include:
These symptoms may be associated with other health conditions and do not always relate back to thyroid cancer. If you have any of these symptoms and find that they worsen or don’t go away over time, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away for a proper diagnosis.
Thyroid cancer can be diagnosed in three types: medullary, anaplastic and differentiated.
Let the experts at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center help accurately diagnose and recognize thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer can be diagnosed with a variety of testing including:
Treatments for thyroid cancer depend on the severity and stage of cancer. Your doctor can help make the best treatment decision. Thyroid cancer treatments include:
As leaders in thyroid cancer research, we’re here for you every step of the way during your thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment.