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Thyroid Cancer

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Thyroid cancer is a relatively rare, but usually curable illness that modern medicine is getting better at being able to detect. This cancer affects the cells within the thyroid gland that is located in the neck and which is responsible for regulating multiple essential functions, including heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure and weight loss/gain. While a patient may not feel ill in the early stages of this disorder, a lump in the neck, swallowing problems and voice changes are possible indicators that something is wrong.

Most thyroid malignancies are diagnosed as papillary thyroid cancer and occur in adults aged 30 to 50 years old. These cancers originate in the follicular cells, as do follicular thyroid cancers that are more common in older patients aged 50 and up. Other forms of thyroid cancer include medullary thyroid cancer, anaplastic thyroid cancer and thyroid lymphoma, the last two of which are quite rare.

Patients who are experiencing the following symptoms are encouraged to call their primary care physician or our office to arrange for medical evaluation. Our number is 813.615.7620, or you can fill out an online appointment request form here.

Symptoms

  • Lump on the neck
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Hoarseness and other vocal changes
  • Swallowing problems
  • Neck and throat pain

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Inherited condition
  • Genetic changes/mutations

Diagnosis Methods

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Genetic testing
  • Imaging studies (CT scan, PET, ultrasound)

Possible Treatments

  • Surgery to remove the thyroid or a portion thereof
  • Radioactive iodine therapy (post-surgery)
  • Thyroid hormone therapy