Thyroid cancer is a lesser known type of cancer. Read on to know more about the various symptoms associated with this condition.
The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in our body. It is shaped like a butterfly, and is located at the base of the neck. As an integral part of the endocrine system, the main function of the thyroid is to release hormones. Thyroid gland is responsible for releasing three different hormones; namely, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and calcitonin. Calcitonin plays a role in regulating the calcium levels in the blood, while T3 and T4 are mainly responsible for monitoring the metabolic rate of the body. People who have excess of these hormones are hyperactive, and may experience weight loss. People with a deficiency of T3 and T4 tend to gain weight, and generally feel lethargic.
Thyroid cancer is a condition wherein there is a growth of abnormal cells in the gland. This type of cancer is not very common. There are four types of thyroid cancer
Papillary and follicular carcinomas are also called as differentiated thyroid cancers and are treated in a similar manner. The most common form of thyroid cancer is the papillary carcinoma accounting for about 80 percent of all the diagnosed cases of thyroid cancer.
In the United Kingdom, thyroid cancer accounts for less than 1 percent of all the cancer cases. About 2,700 people are diagnosed with this condition each year in the UK. The American Cancer Society has made an estimation of around 62,500 new thyroid cancer cases in the US for the year 2015. This cancer is more common in women than in men. Women are two to three times more likely to develop this form of cancer as compared to men. It is most common in people who are aged 30 or above; it becomes notably more aggressive in older patients.
In most cases, the cause is unknown. There are certain risk factors that increase the chances of a person developing this condition. Some of these factors include previous thyroid condition, a family history of this cancer, exposure to radiation, etc.
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