Thyroid cancers are not normally aggressive and if diagnosed early and treated should allow a normal life expectancy. The Thyroid gland is situated in the front of the neck, on either side of the windpipe, and its purpose is to produce a hormone called Thyroxin, which acts to regulate the bodies' metabolism.
Thyroid cancer will sometimes show as a solitary nodule in the gland or symptom less lump in the neck.
There are 4 types of thyroid cancers: Papillary, Follicular, Medullary, Anaplastic and sometimes mixed which is more common.
More women than men are normally affected, as generally women suffer from thyroid dysfunction more so it tends to follow a pattern, however if a man presented with a thyroid nodule it should always be investigated fully as thyroid problems in men are less common.
Thyroid cancer can occur as a direct result of earlier exposure to radiation as a form of treatment, which was a common occurrence in the past for minor diseases such as recurrent tonsillitis, acne, ringworm of the scalp as well as more serious conditions such as Leukemia and Hodgkin's Disease.
Treatment usually involves either the excision of the nodule or more usually the complete removal of the gland tissue, near-total thyroidectomy, followed by radio iodine destruction of any remaining thyroid tissue cells to prevent a reoccurrence or metastases.
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