"Thyroid cancer can occur at any age, but the risk peaks earlier for women than for men."


 

Overview

Thyroid cancer forms in the tissues of the thyroid gland, which is located in the front of the throat, below the cartilage known as Adam’s apple. Though thyroid cancer is not considered a type of head and neck cancer, it is typically treated by an otolaryngology-trained oncologist who also treats malignancies of the mouth, nose, tonsils, sinuses, salivary glands and lymph nodes of the neck. Symptoms of thyroid cancer may include neck pain, voice changes, breathing difficulties, coughing or trouble to swallow.


The thyroid gland produces several important hormones, including the thyroid hormone, which is involved in controlling body temperature, weight, energy level and heart rate. The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin, which helps the body use calcium.

Indications/ Signs

The most common early sign of thyroid cancer


  • Unusual lump
  • Nodule or swelling in the neck. If you notice a new or growing lump, you should see your doctor, who can run additional tests to identify the cause and determine if it is a tumour. Most nodules on the thyroid are usually benign, but it is important to have any unusual growths examined by a health care professional.
Warning signs of thyroid cancer include
  • Neck pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Breathing difficulty

Symptoms

  • Neck pain: In many cases, neck pain starts in the front. In some cases, the neck pain may extend all the way to the ears.
  • Voice changes: Experiencing hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away could be a sign of thyroid cancer.
  • Breathing problems: Sometimes thyroid cancer patients say it feels like they are breathing through a straw. This breathing difficulty is often a symptom of the disease.
  • Trouble swallowing: A growth or nodule on the thyroid gland may interfere with swallowing.

Risk factors

Gender and age

Thyroid cancer can occur at any age, but the risk peaks earlier for women (who are most often in their 40s or 50s when diagnosed) than for men (who are usually in their 60s or 70s).

Hereditary conditions

Several inherited conditions have been linked to different types of thyroid cancer, as has a family history. Still, most people who develop thyroid cancer do not have an inherited condition or a family history of the disease.


Other thyroid cancers: Higher rates of thyroid cancer occur among people with uncommon genetic conditions such as:


Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): People with this syndrome develop many colon polyps and have a very high risk of colon cancer.


Cowden disease: People with this syndrome have an increased risk of thyroid problems and certain benign growths (including some called hamartomas). They also have an increased risk of cancers of the thyroid, uterus, breast, as well as some others. The thyroid cancers tend to be either the papillary or follicular type. This syndrome is most often caused by defects in the gene PTEN. It is also known as Multiple Hamartoma Syndrome and PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome.


Carney complex, type I: People with this syndrome may develop a number of benign tumors and hormone problems. They also have an increased risk of papillary and follicular thyroid cancers. This syndrome is caused by defects in the gene PRKAR1A.


Familial nonmedullary thyroid carcinoma: Thyroid cancer occurs more often in some families, and is often seen at an earlier age. The papillary type of thyroid cancer most often runs in families. Genes on chromosome 19 and chromosome 1 are suspected of causing these familial cancers.

Family history

Having a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with thyroid cancer, even without a known inherited syndrome in the family, increases your risk of thyroid cancer. The genetic basis for these cancers is not totally clear.

Winning Over Cancer

Dr. Naveen Hedne, Senior Consultant & Lead - Surgical Oncology talks about managing head & neck cancers during COVID-19. He said head & neck cancers can be easily identified & one should not ignore its symptoms, He further added that APCC is well equipped and ready to treat patients during the pandemic situation.

FOR APPOINTMENT

Mr. Param Gandhi from Surat, Gujarat talks about the Proton Therapy for his father at Apollo Proton Cancer Centre. He also talks about the standard of care and treatment journey while conveying his heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Ghosh, Dr.Sapna, Dr Naveen, Dr.Vidyadharan, Dr.Pradeep and the entire team of Head & Neck Cancer Management for their excellent guidance & support. Wishing Param & his family good health always.

FOR APPOINTMENT

Mr. Kishore Jain from Mumbai talks to us about his brother-in-law who was diagnosed with oral cancer and the treatment he underwent at Apollo Proton Cancer Centre. He thanks Dr.Sapna Nangia, Dr.T.Raja, Dr.Naveen, Dr. S. Vidyadharan and the entire team for their extensive help and making him feel optimistic during the treatment period. He is happy to see his brother-in-law who has recovered and is looking fit & healthy today.

FOR APPOINTMENT

Ms.Pooja from Delhi speaks to us about her family member who was diagnosed with head & neck cancer in February, this was when COVID - 19 was picking up in India. She describes how Dr. Sapna Nangia (Senior Consultant - Radiation Oncology) gave her hope by explaining about Proton Therapy at Apollo Proton Cancer Centre.

While the treatment is still going on, she wants to thank the entire team at APCC for taking care of her travel formalities during this challenging time.

FOR APPOINTMENT

Other Head & Neck Cancers