Thyroid Cancer


. is inserted through the mouth and into the trachea. A small incision is made in the neck, and either side of the thyroid or the entire lump is removed. The sample is sent to a laboratory to be examined.

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If thyroid cancer is detected, the thyroid is removed.The incision is then stitched up. A patient who undergoes a thyroid excisional biopsy will experience drowsiness, a mild sore throat, and some discomfort from the incision. The test is highly accurate and costs any where from $300 to $1,000. (Health Answers html) * Laryngoscopy- it is the examination of the interior of the larynx with either the aid of a small mirror held against the back of the palate or a flexible viewing tube called a laryngoscope.

This type of testing may cause a sore or hoarse throat. It is 50 to 75% accurate and costs around $65.(Health Answers html) Cancer development Once the cancer of the thyroid is diagnosed, more tests can be done to find out if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. This is called staging.

A physician needs to determine which stage the cancer is in order to plan the proper treatment (American Cancer Clinic html). There are four main stages in each of the types of thyroid cancer except for anaplastic (undifferentiated) cancer. In the stage I of papillary thyroid cancer, the cancer is located only in the thyroid and may be found in one or both of the lobes.In stage II if the patients are younger than 45 years of age, the cancer has spread beyond the thyroid. But if the patient is older than 45 years of age, the cancer is only in the thyroid and is larger than 1 centimeter. In stage III, the cancer is usually found in patients older than 45 years of age and has spread outside of the thyroid or has spread to the lymph nodes but not outside of the neck. In stage IV, the cancer is again usually found in patients over the age of 45.

It most likely has spread to other parts of the body such as the lungs or bones. (Graylab hmtl) In stage I of follicular thyroid cancer, the cancer is only found in the thyroid gland on one of the lobes.In stage II if the patient is younger than 45 years of age, the cancer has spread beyond the thyroid to the lymph nodes. If the patient is older than 45 years of age, the cancer is only in the thyroid and is larger than 1.5 centimeters.

In stage III, the cancer is usually found in patients older than 45 and has spread to beyond the thyroid into other areas of the neck and maybe outside of the neck. Stage IV of follicle thyroid cancer is very similar to stage IV of papillary thyroid cancer in that the cancer has probably spread to the lungs and various bones. (Graylab html) Medullary thyroid cancer is quite uncommon. In stage I, the is located in one or both of the thyroid glands and is about 1 centimeter in size, but throughout the last three stages of medullary thyroid cancer, the tumor grows by 1-4 centimeters and continuously spreads to other parts of the body. (Graylab html) There is no staging system for anaplastic cancer of the thyroid.

This cancer is located in either of the lobes and spreads faster than any of the other types. (Graylab html) Treatment There are basically four different types of treatments used on patients with cancer of the thyroid: surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy (National Cancer Institute html). Each treatments are widely used in fight against thyroid cancer, but not all yield the same results. Surgery the most common treatment for cancer of the thyroid. A physician can remove the cancer by using one or several operations.A lobectomy removes only the side of the thyroid where the cancer is found.

A near-total thyroidectomy removes all of the thyroid except for a small portion. A total thyroidectomy removes the entire thyroid, and a lymph node dissection removes lymph nodes in the neck that contain cancer. Complications of surgery include: hemorrhage, damage to the parathyroid glands, and temporary or permanent damage to the vocal chords. Any type of surgery for thyroid cancer is followed up by a series of oral doses of radioactive iodine.The concentrations of iodine destroy any residual thyroid tissue or tumor. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation for cancer of the thyroid may come from a machine outside of the body (external radiation therapy) or from drinking a liquid that contains radioactive iodine. Because the thyroid absorbs the iodine, the radioactive iodine collects in any thyroid tissue remaining in the body and kills the cancer cells.

Side effects of radiation therapy include: edema, increased skin pigment, skin itching, desquamation( shedding of outer layer of skin), nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and possible fetal damage in women. Hormone therapy uses hormones to stop cancer cells from growing.In treating cancer of the thyroid, hormones can be used to stop the body from making other hormones that might make cancer cells grow. The hormones are usually ingested orally in the form of a pill. There are generally no side effects to hormone therapy other than slight nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be taken by a pill, or it may be put into the body by a needle in the vein or muscle. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drug enters the blood stream, travels through the body, and can kill the cancer cells outside of the thyroid.

Chemotherapy causes similar side effects to those of radiation therapy. Prognosis Fortunately in most cases, people with the cancer of the thyroid are usually treated successfully. Papillary cancer of the thyroid is not associated with a high degree of progression so many people maintain a normal life expectancy ,if diagnosis is made early. Follicular cancer of the thyroid is often fast growing and may invade other tissues, but the probable outcome is still good.

The outcome of medullary cancer of the thyroid varies.Women under the age of 40 have a better chance of a good outcome. The number of people who live at least 10 years after diagnosis is 46%.Anaplastic cancer of the thyroid has the worst prognosis. The expected life span of anyone diagnosed with this type of thyroid cancer is anywhere from 6 months to 3 years.