Thyroid cancer: Know the symptoms
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Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland. It start when abnormal cells in the thyroid gland start divide and grow in an uncontrolled way. The thyroid gland makes hormones that help regulate the metabolism, heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature.
Douglas Ross, co-director of Thyroid Associated at Massachusetts General Hospital, said: “Many thyroid tumours today are discovered unexpected when a patients is being checked for another problem.
“A tumour may be spotted during an imaging test such as a chest or neck CT, or a neck MRI.
“The imagine has got so much better that we’re used to picking up cancers decades earlier than we used to.”
An individual patient’s survival rate depends on what kind of thyroid cancer they have. Here are some of the most common signs of thyroid cancer.
Lumps and swelling in your neck:
Changes in the thyroid’s gland size and shape can often be felt or seen by patients or by their doctor.
A lump or sweeping near the base of the best is the most common symptom of thyroid cancer.
According to studies, up to half of all people over the age of 60 have some type of thyroid nodule, and only a small percentage turn out to be cancerous tumours.
Lumps in the thyroid area and neck are usually benign.
Tumours located at the back of the oesophagus can make it difficult to swallow.
Patients describe a tightness, that makes it difficult to follow swallow solids life bread and meat.
An enlarged thyroid gland that is not cancer is called a goitre.
This swelling appears as a lump at the front of the neck which sometimes goes up and down when swallowing.
Hoarseness that persists
The nerves that controls vocal cords run alongside the trachea near the thyroid.
If cancer spreads to the vocal cords it can affect the quality of the voice.
Jonathan Russel, Director of the Multi-Disciplinary Thyroid Tumour Centre at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said: “Occasional temporary voice changes are usually not a cause for concern.
“But a severe change in your voice when you’re not sick is a change you should see a doctor right away.”
Chronic cough or shortness of breath
If a thyroid tumour is large enough, it can push against the windpipe, causing coughing or shortness of breath.
Although tumours rarely grow to such sizes, it may be a sign of a more aggressive form of thyroid cancer that has started to invade other structures.
A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors.
Nine percent of thyroid cancer in the UK are preventable.
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