Thyroid Cancer

Fanny Herrera 10th

What is Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer starts in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located inside the front of a person's neck. The thyroid gland helps create hormones that control heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. Thyroid cancer starts when cells in the thyroid undergo mutations. From there the cells grow and multiply rapidly and lose their ability to die. After that the thyroid cells create a tumor and invade nearby tissue causing it to spread throughout the body.

The four kinds of Thyroid Cancer

  • Papillary - when a irregular, solid mass comes from Thyroid tissue and may spread to lymph nodes. Papillary is the most common thyroid cancer (75% - 85% of all thyroid cancers) and happens most commonly in women (20 - 55 year olds.) and has an extremely high curing rate.

  • Follicular - when people do not get enough iodine in their diet. Follicular is the second most common thyroid cancer (about 15% percent of all thyroid cancers) and happens mostly to women. (40 - 60 year- olds.) Female to males 3:1 and curing rate 95%

  • Medullary: comes from parafollicular cells that produce which produce hormone calcitonin which has a weak effect on bone growth. Medullary is the third most common thyroid cancer with 3%.

  • Anaplastic: the cause is unknown. Accounts for only 1% of all thyroid cancers. Anaplastc cancer occurs most often in people over 60. Although it is really rare it has a low cure rate even with the best of treatments.


Thyroid cancer does not cause any early signs but as it grows it might cause:

  • A lump in your neck that can be felt through the skin
  • Voice may change, including hoarseness
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Pain in both neck and throat
  • Lymph nodes swollen in the neck

If these signs occur contact your doctor.


There is not a clear cause of Cancer. But doctors have inferred ....

  • It is possible to inherit thyroid cancer
  • when a person has a low iodine
  • exposure to radiation (such as power plants and nuclear weapons)


There is not a way thyroid cancer can be prevented due to the lack of cause. They suggest that people with high risk have surgery to prevent the cancer. People near nuclear power plants should take medication that block the effect of radiation on the thyroid.



  • Surgery

this is done by removing the thyroid and/or lymph nodes

  • Thyroid Hormone Therapy

this helps supply the missing hormones but must be taken for the rest of the person's life

  • Radioactive Iodine

this is used to destroy healthy thyroid tissue

  • External Radiation Therapy

During this treatment a person lies still on the table while the machine revolves around him/her. This occurs for a few minutes, five days a week, for five months.

  • Chemotherapy

is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells.

  • Injecting Alcohol

this method helps treat cancer that is not as visible during surgery.

  • Drug Therapy

this is mostly used for advanced patients and is used to target the signals that makes cancer cells grow


Thyroid cancer may be diagnosed after a person goes to a doctor because of their symptoms. Doctors can take a Medical history and physical exam, a biopsy, and Ultrasound, a radioiodine scan, chest x-ray, CT scan and thyroid- stimulating hormone (TSH)

Frequency in Population:

2014: 62, 980 new cases and 1890 people died

47,790 were women and 1.060 women died

15,190 were men and 830 men died

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