Thyroid Cancer Facts

Posted Friday, September 15, 2017

Did You Know? Women are more likely to have Thyroid Cancer than men

National Thyroid Cancer Awareness

Approximately 56,000 new cases of Thyroid Cancer will be diagnosed this year in the U.S. alone.  Join the nationwide movement to increase awareness regarding Thyroid Cancer.  This resource is intended to help educate your patients on what thyroid cancer is, symptoms and types. 

01 | What is Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, just below the Adam's apple. The thyroid produces hormones that regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. 

02 | Symptoms  

Thyroid cancer typically doesn't cause any signs or symptoms early in the disease. As thyroid cancer grows, it may cause:

  • A lump that can be felt through the skin on your neck
  • Changes to your voice, including increasing hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in your neck and throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck

03 | Types

There are four types of thyroid cancer; each is categorized by where the cancer begins:

  • Papillary - is the most common type, occurring in 80% of people with thyroid cancer.  It begins in follicular cells and usually grows slowly.
  • Follicular – is the second most common form occurring in 10% of those with thyroid cancer.  This type also begins in the follicular cells and usually grows slowly.  Follicular thyroid cancer usually stays in the thyroid gland but sometimes spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or bone. However, it usually does not spread to lymph nodes. It is more common in countries where diets do not contain enough iodine.
  • Medullary – is not a common form of thyroid cancer occurring in only 2% of the population.  This type of thyroid cancer begins in C cells and can make abnormally high levels of calcitonin. Medullary thyroid cancer tends to grow slowly. It can be easier to control if it's found and treated before it spreads to other parts of the body.
  • Anaplastic – is the least common type of thyroid cancer occurring in about 1% of diagnosed cases.  Most people with anaplastic thyroid cancer are older than 60. The cancer begins in follicular cells of the thyroid. The cancer cells tend to grow and spread very quickly. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is very hard to control.

For additional Thyroid Cancer resources including how to decrease your risk visit:

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