Rates of thyroid cancer are skyrocketing in a short time. The number of cases diagnosed with thyroid cancer have doubled since 1970s. Women mainly seem to be at a higher risk. But you shouldn’t panic, even though thyroid cancer cases are increasing, you shouldn’t worry, it is usually papillary thyroid cancer which is the least aggressive type. Doctors say that not because the stats showing an increase in the diagnosed cases with thyroid cancer that means more people ate getting it, it could also mean that doctors are doing a good job detecting it at early stages.
Many people go to have regular scanning or ultrasound for totally unrelated reasons and the scans end up detecting small thyroid nodules, even of these growths turn out to be cancerous, many of them are tiny and not fast growing that they may not cause problems during your lifetime.
That being said, not all thyroid cancers are not worrisome. Thus it is important to see your doctor once you notice any of the following symptoms.
1- Lump In Your Neck.
The thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck in the middle. Any lump of bump that doesn’t clear away on its own within a few weeks should be further investigated. If the cancer already spread to nearby lymph nodes then the mass can be felt on one of the sides of the neck and not necessary the front.
2- Difficulties Swallowing.
As the lump grows, you may experience difficulties swallowing. If the problem wouldn’t go away within a few weeks as in the case of cold and flu, or it seems to be intensifying then you should get your thyroid tested.
3- Voice Changing.
If you notice that your voice hoarse for long time and it is not getting back to how it used to be it could be a sign for thyroid cancer and your voice box is located directly on top of your thyroid. Any changes to your thyroid can cause changes to your voice.
4- Troubles Swallowing, Breathing or Speaking.
These symptoms are likely to be experienced when the cancer is already in an advanced state, however they are all earning signs that shouldn’t be taken simple.
If you get diagnosed with thyroid cancer, your treatment option will depend on the size and state of your tumor.
If your tumor is small less than 1 centimeter (micro-papillary thyroid cancer) it can be actually left alone because this type of thyroid cancer is very slow-growing and won’t trouble your daily life. You will be asked to take regular ultrasound scanning to make sure that things remain the same.
For larger or more aggressive tumors, the thyroid gland or a part of it where the tumor is growing will be removed immediately. If the whole gland is removed then you will have to be on thyroid hormones for the rest of your life.
There’s also a chance of mistakenly injuring the other nearby parathyroid gland that balances the calcium levels in the body.
Depending on your case you may also get chemo, radiation or targeted medication.