The most prevalent form of thyroid cancer is papillary thyroid cancer, which affects the butterfly-shaped gland that sits just below your voice box. It’s only about the size of a quarter, but the hormones it produces help control how your body functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.
While learning you have papillary thyroid cancer may be shocking, keep in mind that it is slow-growing cancer that is usually curable. Follow HealthoWealth through this article to learn more.
What Are the Symptoms?
You won’t always have any! You may only learn about it as a result of an imaging test for another problem. Alternatively, your doctor may feel a lump on your thyroid, known as a nodule, during a routine physical exam.
Nodules are fluid-filled or solid-filled growths. They’re very common and rarely cause any problems. However, cancer affects about one in every twenty people.
As a nodule grows in size, you may experience symptoms such as:
- You can see or feel a lump in your neck
- Having difficulty swallowing
- A persistent sore throat or hoarseness
- Neck lymph nodes that are swollen
- Breathing difficulties, especially when lying down
What Causes Papillary Thyroid Cancer?
The doctors are unsure! You may be more likely to develop papillary thyroid cancer if you have:
Certain genetic disorders in Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Gardner syndrome, and Cowden disease can all increase your chances.
Family history in Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Papillary thyroid cancer can run in families in a small number of cases.
Radiation therapy in Papillary Thyroid Cancer
If you had radiation as a child to fight cancer or another condition, it can increase your chances.
Gender in Papillary Thyroid Cancer
It affects women far more than men, but doctors aren’t sure why.
How Will My Doctor Test for Papillary Thyroid Cancer?
A number of tests will be required to determine whether a nodule is cancerous:
Your doctor will examine your neck for unusual growths and inquire about any symptoms you may be experiencing.
Blood tests for Papillary Thyroid Cancer
You could have your thyroid hormone levels tested. This will not tell you if you have cancer, but it will provide you with more information about how your thyroid is functioning.
This test will be given to you to learn more about the nodules you have. It uses sound waves to create a picture of what’s inside your body. Your doctor will inquire about their shape, size, and other characteristics. This will provide crucial information for determining how serious the problem is.
Biopsy for Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Your doctor will take a sample of the nodule with a very fine needle to test for cancer. Typically, the most you’ll feel is a slight pinch.
This will almost certainly be done for any nodule larger than 1 centimetre (about half an inch). Nodules with calcium buildup, a dense network of blood vessels, or no clear borders are cause for concern. So do the odd-looking nearby lymph nodes – bean-shaped organs that aid in infection-fighting.
How Is Papillary Thyroid Cancer Treated?
If the cancer is very tiny, your doctor may advise you to simply monitor it with regular ultrasounds. When you do require treatment, it will most likely go something like this:
In most cases, your doctor will remove the entire thyroid as well as any lymph nodes that appear to be problematic.
If your cancer is small, you may be able to have only a portion of your thyroid removed. Even in this case, many doctors believe it is best to remove it entirely. It can improve follow-up care and reduce the likelihood of cancer recurring.
Ablation with radioactive iodine (RAI)
Because surgery alone may cure cancer, this step is not required for everyone. Your thyroid is tested after the operation. The results will assist you and your doctor in determining whether you require RAI ablation to prevent cancer from returning.
This is usually a one-time treatment in which you take a pill containing radioactive iodine. Any remaining thyroid cells absorb the iodine, which kills them. Because only thyroid cells absorb it, it usually has no side effects.
You usually get RAI ablation if you had nodules larger than 4 centimetres or if cancer:
- expands beyond the thyroid
- It spreads to the lymph nodes.
- Expands to a new area of your body
Thyroid hormone pills
Following surgery, you begin taking these. It supplies thyroid hormones that your body no longer generates on its own because your thyroid has been separated. For the rest of your life, you’ll typically take one pill per day.
The medication also prevents your body from producing thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). This is a hormone produced by your pituitary gland that normally signals your thyroid to begin producing hormones.
Stopping TSH is an important part of treatment because TSH can stimulate the growth of any remaining thyroid cells. This increases the likelihood of cancer returning.
Will I Require Any Additional Treatment?
Yes. Initially, you’ll have blood tests every few months to check your thyroid hormone levels and determine the proper dose for your medication.
After things have settled down, you’ll have an ultrasound and blood tests every 6-12 months. This is to ensure that you are still receiving the correct dose of your medications and that cancer has not returned.
If, after reading the article “papillary thyroid cancer “, you liked it and became interested in studying in other fields of health and medicine, we suggest you read the following articles from the category cancer on our website.