What is liver disease? What is pancreatic cancer? Contact Us

How do I get treatment?

For further information and appointments please contact us:

Call us

Information about Thryoid Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment London

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck which plays an important role in a person’s well-being. The thyroid produces hormones that control the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and metabolism.

Fortunately most thyroid tumors are benign (non-cancerous), however, a small proportion (listed below) are unfortunately malignant.

Cancer of the thyroid is uncommon, accounting for about 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed, however, it has become the 8th most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. With early detection, accurate diagnosis and precise treatment the outlook can be very good.

Types of thyroid cancer include:

Anaplastic thyroid cancer - a rare, aggressive form of cancer

Follicular thyroid cancer - cancer that develops from cells in the follicular areas of the thyroid

Medullary thyroid cancer - cancer that develops in C cells of the thyroid. The C cells make a hormone (calcitonin) that helps maintain a healthy level of calcium in the blood

Papillary thyroid cancer - the most common type of thyroid cancer, which tends to occur more frequently in women and presents in the 30-40 year age group

Symptoms of Thyroid cancer:

In the early stages of thyroid cancer, no symptoms are present. As the cancer develops, symptoms may include:

Lump in the front of the neck as a result of the tumour within the gland
• Recurring or constant pain in the throat and/or neck which may or may not be with a swelling.
• Swollen lymph nodes causing a lump in the neck
• Trouble breathing or swallowing
• Voice changes or hoarseness

The above symptoms are often due to benign, non-cancerous conditions such as goiter (swelling in the thyroid gland) or infection. However, it is recommended that anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors

Why one person develops a thyroid cancer and another does not still remains unclear however, the following risk factors have been associated with an increased chance of developing thyroid cancer:

Age - thyroid cancer most commonly occurs in people over the age of 45. Anaplastic thyroid cancer mainly occurs in people over the age of 60

Family history of medullary thyroid cancer - medullary thyroid cancer may be passed down from parent to child by the RET gene (REarranged during Transfection.) Nearly everyone with this changed gene tends to develop the disease

Family/personal history of goiters - some people with a family history and/or personal history of multiple thyroid nodules are at greater risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer

Gender - females are three times more likely than males to develop thyroid cancer

Iodine - studies have suggested that a diet too low in iodine (for example lacking fish) may increase the risk of developing follicular thyroid cancer. Other studies have shown that a diet too rich in iodine may increase the risk of papillary thyroid cancer. Clearly more research is needed in this area

Radiation - individuals exposed to radiation are more likely to develop papillary or follicular thyroid cancer.

The more risk factors the individual has, the greater the chance of developing thyroid cancer, however, many people with known risk factors for thyroid cancer do not develop the disease. People with a family history of the disease or those who think they may be at risk should discuss this concern with their doctor.

Diagnostic Tests for Thyroid Cancer

Your doctor may ask a series of questions regarding personal and family medical history. One or more of the following tests may also be performed:

Blood tests - your doctor may check for abnormal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood. Too much or too little TSH means the thyroid is not working well

Biopsy - biopsy is the only sure way to diagnose thyroid cancer

Isotope thyroid scan - will show up a benign rather than malignant tumour

Physical exam - your doctor feels your thyroid for lumps (nodules). Your doctor also checks your neck and nearby lymph nodes for growths or swelling

Ultrasound: with aspiration of cells if a lump is identified