The thyroid gland is located in the middle of the neck between the larynx and the clavicle. It is shaped like a butterfly, which has two halves. The Thyroid gland is an endocrine gland. Follicular thyroid produces hormones to regulate physiological functions in the body such as heart rate, body temperature and energy level. Learn more about thyroid cancer and types of thyroid cancer here.
There are four main types thyroid cancer:
Papillary Cancer: The papillary thyroid cancer of the thyroid gland is the most common, accounting for 80% of thyroid cancer. Papillary thyroid cancer affects people in the age group between 30 and 50, with a ratio of 3:1 women and men. Papillary thyroid cancer is curable with almost all cases being cured if detected early.
Papillary thyroid cancer is characterized by the growth of tumour . The cancer nodule spreads through the lymphatic system and blood vessels to nearby lymph nodes or bone and other organs. But among all cancers, papillary thyroid cancer has a low mortality rate.
Follicular cancer: The follicular thyroid cancer represents 15% of thyroid cancers detected each year, affecting people between 40 and 60 years of age, Follicular cancer of the thyroid gland is caused by tumours to the thyroid nodules. Most of these nodules are benign. Cancerous nodules, however, can become life threatening by diffusion into the bloodstream to other organs like the lungs and bones and other tissues.
Medullary Cancer: Medullary Thyroid cancer constitutes 3% of thyroid cancer cases detected yearly. About 20% of cases of medullary cancer of the thyroid gland are the result of inheriting an abnormal gene. The overall survival at ten years was 90% for local disease, 70% of regional extension, and 20% of distant metastatic cancer this type of cancer is more common among women than among men, with except for hereditary cancer.
Because of its malignant nature, this cancer can be life threatening as it spreads through the blood and lymph vessels to lymph nodes or remote organs like the lungs and bones and other tissues.
Anaplastic cancer: Anaplastic thyroid cancer is rare type of thyroid cancer affecting 2% of all thyroid cancer cases each year and the most deadly of all thyroid cancers, It is more common in males above 65 years. This cancer forms in follicular cells and tends to grow and metastasize quickly. Research suggests that of all the people with Anaplastic cancer, 50% had tumours that spread to the lungs at diagnosis. Survival is generally less than one year.
Mentioned four types of cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, thyroid hormone treatment or chemotherapy. Many patients receive a combination of these treatments. Surgery and radiotherapy are local treatments remove or destroy cancer in the thyroid gland.