There is no such thing as routine thyroid cancer. Every patient’s thyroid cancer is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving each person’s specific cancer.
At the OSUCCC – James, our thyroid cancer specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on thyroid cancer and who reach across medical disciplines (oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pharmacists, endocrinologists, otolaryngologists, and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.
And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.
Facts About Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is a disease that begins in the cells of the thyroid gland — a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the windpipe. The right and left lobes of the thyroid are connected by a thin piece of tissue called the isthmus. Four smaller glands, called the parathyroids, sit near the back of the thyroid and produce hormones that help control levels of calcium in the blood.
The thyroid is an important component of the endocrine system — producing important hormones for the body that control key regulatory processes such as heart rate, temperature and metabolism. It also helps control the amount of calcium in the blood, which is a key mineral required for proper functioning of nerves and muscles.
Iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, helps make thyroid hormones.
More than 60,000 new cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States. Since the mid 1990s, rates have increased and it is now among the fastest growing cancers in the United States for both men and women.
Thyroid cancer primarily affects women, is the most frequently diagnosed endocrine cancer and occurs most often in people between the ages of 25 and 65.
Types of Thyroid Cancer
There are several types of thyroid cancer including:
Papillary Thyroid Cancer
The most frequently diagnosed type of thyroid cancer in the United States. This is a slow growing cancer. When it is diagnosed early, most patients with papillary thyroid cancer can be cured.
Follicular Thyroid Cancer
The second most frequently diagnosed type of thyroid cancer. It begins in the follicular cells and is slow growing. Hürthle cell carcinoma is a form of follicular thyroid cancer. Treatment is usually successful if the cancer is caught early.
Medullary Thyroid Cancer
Though rare, can run in families. A genetic change (in a gene called RET) can cause this type of cancer. If this genetic mutation is present, your doctor may recommend frequent testing or surgery to remove the thyroid to prevent future cancer.
Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
A very rare type of thyroid cancer and occurs most often in people older than 60.
Thyroid Cancer Symptoms
Thyroid cancer that has just formed, or that is early in its progress, may not cause any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include the following:
- A lump in the neck
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble swallowing
Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have thyroid cancer. But if you have symptoms you should tell your doctor, especially if symptoms have continued for longer than a few weeks.
(Source: National Cancer Institute)
If you have received a thyroid cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a thyroid cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.
Toward a Cancer-Free World Blog
Thyroid cancers are made up of many genes that make searching for hereditary risk factors difficult. But a new James study is looking at a specific kind of thyroid cancer, called papillary thyroid cancer, to identify not only genetic risks but parts of patients’ DNA that can lead to the disease. Read More