Thyroid cancer occurs more frequently in women than men. Most patients are 60 years and younger – including children in their pre-teens.
As its name implies, the disease affects the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland found at the front of the neck. It produces hormones that help regulate processes in the body, such as heart rate, temperature and digestion.
There are no symptoms at the onset but can grow gradually and become aggressive. When that happens, thyroid cancer can recur despite treatment.
So keep a lookout for the following warning signs:
Thyroid cancer comes in different types.
Papillary thyroid cancer
Follicular thyroid cancer
Medullary thyroid cancer
Anaplastic thyroid cancer
Visit an ENT specialist if you notice lumps in the neck, especially in your child. Up to 25% of thyroid lumps in kids are cancerous. At our clinic, you will be required to undergo a physical examination and a blood test. If a lump is detected, further investigation will be conducted. These include ultrasound and/or CT scans, and Fine-Needle Aspiration Cytology biopsy.
This depends on the type and stage of cancer. Usually surgery is recommended to remove the affected areas or even the entire thyroid. Where it is not suitable, radiation therapy may be used to destroy the cancer cells. Some patients may also need several different treatments.
Although relapse is uncommon, thyroid cancer can recur. So it is important to follow up with post-surgery checks and regimes.