The thyroid gland is a silent and secret most important organ in the human body. It does not give obvious symptoms, it does not hurt, but if it starts to fail, the whole body suffers.
Most often, anxiety in many is caused by various formations that can be found in the organ. So, they are divided into benign and malignant. The former are generally safe, but require medical supervision. They account for up to 95% of diagnosed cases.
Benign formations are usually divided into two types: adenoma and cyst. In the first case, we are talking about a tumor from the cells of the thyroid tissue, it either does not give symptoms or shows signs of hyperthyroidism – sweating, weight loss, acceleration of the heartbeat. There are follicular, papillary, functioning and others. Despite the fact that this option is benign, special attention is riveted to some types of adenomas, since there is a risk of degeneration into cancer.
Cysts are represented by nodes – these are cavities with fluid. They don’t have any particular symptoms. It is detected either by ultrasound or by touch if it grows to such a size that it protrudes in the neck area. A cyst cannot be called completely safe – there are risks of its inflammation. It can also constrict the throat. If it is too large, then a puncture is performed and the formation is removed.
But doctors are more concerned about malignant tumors of the thyroid gland. The incidence of cancer of this organ is increasing every year, told aif.ru endocrinologist of the Clinical Diagnostic Center “Medincenter” (branch of GlavUpDK under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia) Elena Gubkina.
The increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer may be due to the fact that the imaging system for diagnosis has become better and more perfect. Today, with the help of MRI and CT, doctors can detect even small formations without waiting for them to grow to large sizes. Often these are accidental findings that are detected during diagnostics for other diseases. Such formations are favorable in terms of prognosis – they are easier and more effective in therapy.
The problem of the formation of cancerous tumors of the thyroid gland is more typical for women, sometimes it is associated with the presence of the hormone estrogen. Also at risk are people who have been treated in the head and neck area using radiation methods.
Can it be recognized?
Most often, thyroid cancer, like benign tumors, does not show any signs. But as the formation increases, there may be symptoms such as:
- Seal, it is also called a knot, which can be felt on the neck directly through the skin.
- The appearance of a feeling that the collar of a familiar shirt has become tight.
- Change of voice when there is, for example, increasing hoarseness.
- Swallowing problems where it is difficult to swallow.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
If there are any disturbing signals, it is better to see a doctor. In a cancer situation, it is usually advised to be overly concerned about your condition rather than waste time. It is better to undergo an examination and exclude pathology, or to detect it at an early stage and cure it with great effect and prognosis.
Why is it developing?
Among the reasons why thyroid cancer can develop are breakdowns in DNA, certain mutations that lead to the fact that cells begin to multiply abnormally and divide incorrectly. The tumor grows larger and captures nearby tissues, spreads and begins to secrete metastases that spread throughout the body. It happens that cancer cells go beyond the neck and end up in the lungs, bones and other organs.
Types of thyroid cancer
Doctors use a special differentiation of malignant thyroid tumors. As a rule, belonging to one or another type of tumor is determined visually “on glasses” using a microscope.
So, thyroid cancer is of the following types:
- Differentiated – this tumor is formed in cells that produce thyroid hormones.
- Papillary cancer is considered the most common variant, typical for people aged 30-50 years.
- Follicular tumor – more often diagnosed in people over the age of 50, in most cases it spreads to the lymph nodes of the neck.
- Anaplastic cancer is one of the most difficult options, it is difficult to treat, but still the right therapy can slow down the progression of the pathology.
It is important to understand that if cancer cells have spread outside the gland, there are risks of recurrence of the disease after a while, even if the treatment was successful. After the treatment, the doctor may suggest that the patient undergo an MRI or CT scan again to assess the extent and area of the spread of the disease. For this, additional methods are also provided, for example, the use of radioactive iodine.