Thyroid Cancer

Maggie Sullivan

Thyroid Cancer in the Thyroid & Types of Thyroid Cancer

There are two types of cells in the thyroid; the follicular cells and c cells. Different cancers come from the different cells. The different cells determine the type of cancer, the extremity, and the type of treatment needed.


  • Papillary - most common - usually cured
  • Follicular - usually cures
  • Medullary - usually cured
  • Anaplastic - hard to cure

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What is a Thyroid?

A butterfly shaped gland in your neck, right above the collarbone. It creates hormones that help the the body function normally, for example, it regulates heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.

Is it common?

You are at a higher risk of thyroid cancer if you are Asian, a woman, 25-65 years of age, a family member has had thyroid cancer or disease, or if you have had radiation treatments to head or neck.

It is the 8th most common cancer in the United States.

Factors which cause the cancer.

Some of the factors that may put you at a higher risk include, being a female, exposure to radiation, and genetics (cancer can be inherited).

List of Effects

  • Lump in neck - growing quickly sometimes

  • Swelling in neck

  • Pain in neck, sometimes going up to ears

  • Voice changes that do not go away

  • Trouble swallowing and breathing

  • Constant cough not caused by a cold

What are the tests that are done?

The tests for diagnosis are physical exams, blood tests, imaging tests, and removal of sample of thyroid tissue. Imaging tests and removal of tissue are done with ultrasound scans.

List of Treatment

  • Surgery

  • Radioactive iodine

  • Hormone treatment

  • Radiation therapy

  • Chemotherapy

  • Targeted therapy - uses a substance that only attacks cancer cells, and not normal cells

  • Treatment depends on the type of cancer and how far it has spread

  • Many patients receive combination of treatments

Environmental Risks

You're at greater risk for thyroid cancer if you are female, have been exposed to radiation, or it is in your genetics.


There are several different tests a doctor can give to diagnose someone with thyroid cancer. There are physical exams, blood tests, imaging tests, and removal of a sample of thyroid tissue. The imaging tests and sample removal require ultrasounds.


Doctors aren’t sure what causes most cases of thyroid cancer, so there’s no way to prevent people who have an average risk for the cancer.
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