Do you know that your metabolism, body temperature, mental function and heart health are under the control of a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck? This organ is called thyroid gland. It consists of two lobes connected with isthmus.
Your thyroid can influence the state of your health through the production of hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. If something goes wrong with your health, abnormal cells tend to grow out of control in your thyroid gland.
Actually, in our country it's not as common as skin or breast cancer. However, thyroid cancer is diagnosed in more than 55 000 people in the US each year. As with other cancers, the exact causes of thyroid malignancy are still unclear.
It was found that women are three times more likely to suffer from this condition than men. Having close relatives with the same disorder also boosts your risks of thyroid cancer. Experts say that exposure to radiation is also associated with increased hazards of this type of malignancy.
The most common types of thyroid cancer include papillary carcinoma (about 80%), follicular cancer, medullary carcinoma and anaplastic malignancy. It may be that easy to catch the problem in the early stages as thyroid cancer can exist for a long time without causing any complaints. Nevertheless, you may notice some changes in your body functioning if having this health issue. Check out these warning signs of thyroid cancer:
#1. Lump in the neck – we want to reassure you that most of the neck lumps are benign. It's worth knowing that cancerous lumps are firm, can't be moved easily and tend to grow quickly. You may see it in the mirror or feel it when swallowing.
#2. Voice changes – your thyroid gland is neighbors with your larynx (voice box). If neoplasm occurs in your thyroid, it can press on this organ leading to hoarseness or other voice changes.
#3. Swallowing and breathing problems – sometimes cancerous nodules in the thyroid can compress the esophagus or trachea. As a result you may experience swallowing and/or breathing difficulties which get worse with cancer progression.
#4. Neck pain – soreness and swelling in the front of your neck, Thatlast for extended period of time, can indicate thyroid malignancy. However, cancer is rather rare underlying reason of painful neck.
All of these symptoms can be caused by wide variety of other non-cancerous conditions. Consult with your doctor, if you're suspected to have thyroid abnormalities.
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