Thyroid Cancer (Overview, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Stages, Causes, and Treatment)

The thyroid gland has a butterfly shape and located at the base of the neck, just below the thyroid cartilage. It has two lobes, right and left lobe, joined by an isthmus (small piece of the gland). The thyroid gland cannot be felt or seen in most people. It produces many hormones that play several important functions in the body, including the regulation of heart rate, body weight, body temperature, and blood pressure.

Thyroid cancer occurs due to mutation or change in the thyroid cells that cause the abnormal division of cells forming tumors. Different types of thyroid cancer include anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, medullary thyroid carcinoma, follicular carcinoma, and papillary carcinoma. Some types of thyroid cancer are very destructive, while some are slow-growing and treatable. Papillary carcinoma is the most common type of thyroid cancer.

National Cancer Institute reported that women are at more risk of developing thyroid cancer than men. People of any age can develop thyroid cancer, but it is more common among individuals above 30 years of age. Initially, there are no symptoms visible of thyroid cancer and begin to visible at later stages of cancer. Formation of the lump in the neck is the most common symptom of thyroid cancer, followed by pain and swelling in the neck. Surgery is the most practised treatment of thyroid cancer, followed by radiation and chemotherapy.