Thyroid Cancer: Types, Treatment, and Life after Treatment

It is common for people with thyroid cancer to have few or no symptoms. Thyroid cancers are often diagnosed by routine examination of the neck during a general physical exam.

Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones.It's most common in people in their 30s and those over the age of 60. Women are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop it than men. Thyroid cancer is usually treatable and in many cases can be cured completely, although it can sometimes come back after treatment.

Based on reports released by the National Cancer Institute, multiple cases of thyroid cancer are encountered on a daily basis, urging doctors and even patients to consider new and improved lines of treatment. However, thyroid cancer treatment is not as easy as addressing other forms of cancer. We need to first understand the existing types of cancer besides contemplating a proper treatment pathway for each. Moreover, thyroid cancer doesn’t always show symptoms and therefore treating the same at an early stage becomes extremely difficult. 

Types of Thyroid Cancer

Before moving any further with the treatments, it is important to note that at present there are four major types of thyroid cancer. However, we will be listing the names on the basis of occurrence. 

Type 1: Follicular Cancer or Papillary Thyroid cancer
Type 2: Hurthle Cell Cancer
Type 3: Medullary
Type 4: Anaplastic

While these are the four types of thyroid cancer, it is important to note that most cases of thyroid malignancy are curable in nature. However, thyroid cancer treatment isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and only expert oncologists should attend to the patients. 

Thyroid Cancer: Treatment Module

While the treatment module of the same depends on the stage and certainly the type of cancer that we are dealing with, it eventually includes surgery as the best way to remove any kind of lump that’s encountered during the process.

1. Surgery

One of the more preferred approaches is to remove the thyroid itself by the surgical pathway. This process is also known as thyroidectomy and can be total or even partial, depending on the gravity of the situation. Other adjoining surgery-specific techniques include thyroid lobectomy, and dissection of the existing lymph nodes. However, any surgical process needs to be initiated with care and oncologists must account for the risks of infection and bleeding. 

2. Hormone Therapy

This is one form of medication that directly and indirectly targets thyroid cancer. However, this process works in cohesion with surgeries as the main aim of hormone therapy is to allow the body to remain in proper working condition even without a functional thyroid gland.

3. Inclusion of Radioactive Iodine

If any portion of the malignant thyroid hasn’t been removed, the radioactive iodine does the job by dissolving the existing tissues. However, this treatment can have a host of side-effects including fatigue, mouth pain, dry mouth, and more.

4. Radiation

The affected region is bombarded with beams of high-energy, precisely for stemming the growth and proliferation of malignant cells. 

5. Chemotherapy

This is the most preferred drug treatment usually resorted to at the end. Moreover, unlike radiation therapy, this is more of an intravenous approach for killing off the proliferating cells.

Life after Treatment

After one or all of the treatment procedures are adhered to, the patient must look to lead a healthy and clean life by incorporating certain efficient lifestyle changes. Most importantly, it is necessary to undergo screenings in order to check on the growth and proliferation of cancerous cells, even after treatment.

Thyroid cancer is an ailment that requires discrete skills and years of oncological experience to get rid of. In the recently concluded piece, we addressed the types of cancer followed by the best ideas to get rid of this life-threatening condition.

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