Cancer of the thyroid gland is cancer that occurs most often in young people. What forms this cancer? What are the signs that can alert? Update on thyroid cancer.

-Thyroid: where is it placed? What is it?
-What are the signs that may indicate thyroid cancer?
-What are the risk factors of thyroid cancer?
-What is the treatment of thyroid cancer?


Thyroid: where is it placed? What is it?

The thyroid is a small gland at the base of the neck that secretes thyroid hormones rich in iodine, also known as T4 thyroxin and triiodothyronine (T3), which are involved in the functioning of most organs.

This hormone secretion is itself controlled by another hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone (or TSH) secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain this time. Like all body tissues, this gland may become cancerous.

What are the signs that may indicate thyroid cancer?

The early stages of thyroid cancer are usually asymptomatic (without specific symptoms). But gradually, as the tumor grows, some signs may occur:

-A small ball sitting in front of the neck.
-Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
-A voice alteration, hoarseness.
-Of difficulty swallowing.
-Of difficulty breathing.
-Pain in the throat or neck.

These signs are not specific, can evoke a particular infection or goiter, examinations are needed to confirm a possible thyroid cancer: clinical examination, blood tests, ultrasound of the thyroid gland, scintigraphy, biopsy…

That said, these signs must draw particular attention to those at risk, as detected early, cancer of the thyroid, like any cancer for that matter, is easier to heal.

What are the risk factors of thyroid cancer?

People exposed to radiation have an increased risk of developing cancer of the thyroid:
It may be a thyroid irradiation during childhood, external irradiation in the treatment of another disease, or contamination by radioactive iodine.

Family history of thyroid cancer, because there are familial forms related to a genetic mutation.

What is the treatment of thyroid cancer?

First, we must know that the prognosis of thyroid cancer is quite good.

Treatment is primarily surgical: it consists of a total removal of the thyroid gland, sometimes with a neck dissection.

This removal requires then the introduction of hormone replacement therapy for life to replace the thyroid hormone .

Additional treatments may be required, but the protocol depends on many factors including the type of cancer (papillary carcinoma, medullar …), the tumor size, stage, its “aggression” and the patient’s age: external radiotherapy, radiation therapy with iodine (which comprises administering radioactive iodine to destroy thyroid tissue remaining in the event of local extension or destroy metastases), hormone therapy, chemotherapy .

Note that a hyperparathyroidism, the cause of hypocalcaemia (low levels of calcium in the blood) is a possible complication, but usually reversible.

In practice, we note that early check can diagnose a thyroid tumor still somewhat extended, thereby improving the effectiveness of treatments.