What is Thyroid Cancer – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Stage-wise Survival Rate

Thyroid is an organ present in the neck. It is part of the endocrine system which secretes (produces, separates and releases) various hormones into the blood stream to regulate the body. Exposure to radiation at the time of birth or during childhood to the head or neck can cause cancer or neoplasm in this organ. This article tries to gain further insight on the query

what is thyroid cancer


Awareness of these indicators can aid in early diagnosis of the cancer. Surgery can remove the chunk of malignant cells. In this way, the prognosis will be excellent.

What is Thyroid Cancer Symptoms List?

  • Nodules in the region. In less than five percent cases, these structures are cancerous
  • Swelling of the lymph node which indicates the body’s defense mechanism is fighting very hard with foreign invaders or undesirable developments in the body
  • Pain in the front portion of neck
  • Change in voice
  • The nodules in individuals below the age of 20 years are a cause of concern
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Heart racing
  • More sweating
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Hand tremors
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Thinning of the hair
  • Diarrhea, though uncommon
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Urinary complications
  • Loss of libido
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Osteoporosis
  • Graves disease
  • Depression
  • Rapid thoughts
  • Constipation
  • Dry itchy skin
  • Joint pain
  • Impaired memory
  • Deafness
  • Decrease in the sense of taste and smell
  • Mood instability

Physical examination, ultrasound and measuring the presence of thyroid stimulating hormone can confirm the neoplasm of the thyroid. A nuclear medicine diagnostic test known as Scintigraphy determines whether the disease has spread to fresh and remote locations of the body or not.

Types of Neoplasm in the Organ:

S.No. Type of the Cancer Prevalence of the Disease in Percentage
1. Papillary 75-85
2. Follicular 10-20
3. Medullary 5-8
4. Anaplastic Less than 5

Treatment of Thyroid Cancer:

If diagnosed early, surgery types like lobectomy, tracheostomy and thyroidectomy are available to remove the chunk of malignant cells. The remaining rogue cells are killed by internal radiation agents like radioactive iodine 131 in patients suffering from follicular or papillary types. This follow up treatment is useless for the other two types of thyroid neoplasm. External radiation is used when the cancer recurs or is in an advanced stage.

Five Year Survival Rate of the Patients Based on the Cancer Stages:

S.No. Type of Thyroid Neoplasm Stage I Stage II Stage III Stage IV Stage V
1. Papillary 100 100 93 51 96-97
2. Follicular 100 100 71 50 91
3. Medullary 100 98 81 28 80-86
4. Anaplastic Always Stage IV Always Stage IV Always Stage IV 7 7-14

What is Thyroid Cancer 10 Years Survival Rate?

S.No. Type of Thyroid Neoplasm Percentage of Overall Survival
1. Papillary 93
2. Follicular 85
3. Medullary 75
4. Anaplastic No data available’>

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