Thyroid-cancer-signs-and-symptoms-and-treatment methods

Thyroid cancer - signs, symptoms and treatment methods

Thyroid cancer affects the gland in the neck called the thyroid gland, which is part of the endocrine glands responsible for controlling body functions. There is a treatment for thyroid cancer in Turkey.

Papillary and follicular thyroid cancers, the most common types, respond very well to treatments and most thyroid cancers are highly curable.

What is thyroid cancer? thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer develops in the thyroid gland, a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck that is responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism (how your body uses energy).

Thyroid hormones also help control body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Thyroid cancer, a type of endocrine cancer, is generally highly treatable with an excellent cure rate.

What is the thyroid gland?

One of the many glands that make up the endocrine system, the endocrine glands secrete hormones that control various bodily functions.

The pituitary gland in the brain controls the thyroid and other endocrine glands.

The pituitary gland releases thyroid hormone (TSH). TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce its own hormones.

The thyroid gland needs iodine (a mineral) to make these hormones. Foods rich in iodine include fish, tuna, dairy products, whole-grain bread, and iodized salt.

The normal position of the thyroid gland is in the neck
The thyroid gland is located in the body

Where is your thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is the size of a thumb at the base of the neck, in front of the trachea, and under the Adam's apple. The thyroid gland resembles the shape of a butterfly. There is a bridge of tissue connecting the right and left lobes of the gland.

How common is thyroid cancer?

Approximately 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year, and treatments for most types of thyroid cancer are highly successful.

Yet about 2,000 people die of the disease each year.

What are the risk factors for thyroid cancer?

Women are three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men.

The disease is most commonly diagnosed in women in their 40s and 50s and men in their 60s and 70s. Even children can get sick. Risk factors include:

  • Thyroid enlargement
  • Having a family history of thyroid disease or/and thyroid cancer
  • Thyroiditis
  • Gene mutations (changes) that cause endocrine diseases, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN2A) or type 2B syndrome (MEN2B)
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Obesity (high body mass index)
  • Exposure to radiotherapy for head and neck cancer, especially in childhood
  • Exposure to radiation from nuclear weapons

What are the types of thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is classified based on the type of cells from which the cancer grows. Types include:

  • papillary: Making up 80% of all thyroid cancers, this type of cancer grows slowly. Although papillary thyroid cancer often spreads to the lymph nodes in the neck, the disease responds well to treatment.
    Papillary thyroidoma is highly curable and rarely fatal.Papillary carcinoma of the thyroid gland
  • follicular: Follicular thyroid tumor accounts for about 15% of thyroid cancers, and this cancer is more likely to spread to the bones and lungsMetastatic cancer (cancer that has spread) can be more difficult to treat.
  • medullary: About 2% of thyroid cancers occur. A quarter of people with thyroid cancer have a family history of the disease and the cause may be a faulty gene (gene mutation).
  • aggressive: Aggressive thyroid cancer is the most difficult type of thyroid cancer to treat. It can grow rapidly and often spreads to surrounding tissues and other parts of the body. This rare type of cancer makes up about 2% of thyroid cancers.

What causes thyroid cancer?

Experts aren't sure why some cells turn cancerous (malignant) and attack the thyroid gland. Factors such as radiation exposure, a low-iodine diet and faulty genes can increase the risk.

What are the symptoms of thyroid cancer?

The patient may feel a lump or growth in his neck called a thyroid nodule. Do not panic if you suffer from a thyroid nodule. Most nodules are benign (not cancerous). Only about three out of every 20 thyroid nodules are found to be cancerous (malignant).

Other signs of thyroid cancer include:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Loss of voice (hoarseness).
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

    What does the mass that arises at the expense of the thyroid gland look like from the outside?
    What does a thyroid mass look like from the outside?

How is thyroid cancer diagnosed in Turkey?

If you have an enlarged thyroid nodule or other signs of thyroid cancer, your doctor may order one or more of these tests:

  • blood tests: A blood test shows the levels of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland and measures whether it is working properly.
  • biopsy: During a fine-needle biopsy, your doctor removes cells from your thyroid gland to look for cancer cells.
    A lymph node biopsy can determine whether cancer cells have spread to the nodes. Your doctor may use ultrasound to guide these biopsy procedures.
  • Radioactive iodine test: This test can detect thyroid cancer and determine whether the cancer has spread. The patient swallows a pill containing a safe amount of radioactive iodine over a period of a few hours. The iodine is absorbed by the thyroid gland. The doctor uses a special machine to measure the amount of radiation in the gland. Areas with less radioactivity need more tests to confirm the presence of cancer.

    CT scan of a thyroid gland with cancer
    Cross-sectional image of an affected gland

  • Imaging examinations: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and positron emission tomography (PET) can detect thyroid cancer and cancer spread.

How is thyroid cancer treated or treated in Turkey?

Treatments for thyroid cancer depend on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread. Treatments include:

  • surgery:

Surgery is the most common treatment for thyroid cancer. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, the surgeon may remove part of the thyroid gland (lobectomy) or the entire gland (thyroidectomy) and also remove any nearby lymph nodes where cancer cells have spread.

  • Radioactive iodine therapy:

With radioactive iodine therapy, you can swallow a pill or liquid that contains a higher dose of radioiodine than is used in a diagnostic radioiodine test. Radioactive iodine destroys the diseased thyroid gland along with the cancerous cells. Don't worry - this treatment is extremely safe. The thyroid gland absorbs nearly all of the radioactive iodine. The rest of the body is exposed to minimal radiation exposure.

Treatment By applying radioactive iodine, radioactive iodine destroys the thyroid tissue
Radioactive iodine therapy
  • Radiation therapy:

Radiation kills cancer cells and prevents them from growing. External radiation therapy uses a machine to deliver powerful beams of energy directly to the site of the tumor. Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) involves placing radioactive seeds in or around the tumor.

  • Chemotherapy:

Intravenous or oral chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells and stop cancer growth. Very few patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer will need chemotherapy.

  • Hormone therapy:

This treatment blocks the release of hormones that can cause the cancer to spread or return.

What are the complications of thyroid cancer?

Most thyroid cancers respond well to treatment and are not life-threatening.

After thyroid surgery or treatments, your body still needs thyroid hormones, and you'll need thyroid hormone replacement therapy for life.

Synthetic thyroid hormones, such as levothyroxine (Synthroid), take on the role of natural thyroid hormones that the body no longer produces after treatment.

How does thyroid cancer affect pregnancy?

Thyroid cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosed in pregnant women (breast cancer is the first). Approximately 10% of thyroid cancers occur during pregnancy or during the first year after birth. Experts believe fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy may lead to cancer.

If you were diagnosed with thyroid cancer during pregnancy, your doctor can discuss treatment options.

Depending on the type and severity of the cancer, your doctor may recommend postponing treatment until after your baby is born. If it is not possible to postpone, most women can safely undergo surgery to remove the cancerous gland. You should not undergo radiological diagnostic tests or radiotherapy while pregnant or breastfeeding.

How can I prevent thyroid cancer?

Many people develop thyroid cancer without a known cause, so it's not really possible to prevent it. But if you know you're at risk for thyroid cancer, you may be able to take the following steps:

  • Preventive surgery:

Genetic testing can determine whether you carry a variant gene (mutation) that increases your risk of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia. If you have the defective gene, you may choose to have preventive surgery to remove your thyroid gland before cancer develops.

  • Potassium iodide:

If you were exposed to radiation during a nuclear disaster, such as the Fukushima accident in Japan, taking potassium iodide within 24 hours of exposure can ultimately reduce your risk of thyroid cancer. Potassium iodide (Pima®) prevents the thyroid gland from absorbing too much radioactive iodine. As a result, the gland remains healthy.

When should I contact the doctor?

You should contact your healthcare provider if you have thyroid cancer and have:

  • Enlargement in the neck.
  • rapid heart rate;
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain.
  • extreme tiredness;

What questions should I ask my doctor?

If you have thyroid cancer, you may want to ask your health care provider:

  • Why did I get thyroid cancer?
  • What type of thyroid cancer do I have?
  • Has the cancer spread outside the thyroid gland?
  • What is the best treatment for this type?
  • What are the treatment risks and side effects?
  • Will I need thyroid hormone replacement therapy?
  • Is my family at risk for this type of thyroid cancer? If so, should we do genetic testing?
  • Can I get thyroid cancer again?
  • Am I at risk of developing other types of cancer?
  • What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
  • Should I watch for complications?


Receiving a cancer diagnosis is worrisome, regardless of the type. Fortunately, most thyroid cancers respond very well to treatment.

Your health care provider can discuss the best treatment option for the type of thyroid cancer you have. After treatment, you may need to take synthetic thyroid hormones for life.

These hormones support vital body functions. It usually doesn't cause any major side effects, but you'll have regular checkups to monitor your health.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to a recent study: Thyroid cancer is one of the cancers with a high cure rate of 100% in some types if diagnosed early.
Eight out of 10 people diagnosed with thyroid cancer develop the papillary type. The survival rate for papillary thyroid cancer is approximately 100% when the cancer is in the gland (localized).
Even when the cancer has spread (metastasized), the survival rate is close to 80%.
Five-year survival rates for other types of thyroid cancer include:
follicular: The survival rate is up to 100% in the absence of spread; In the case of the tumor moved up to 63%.
medullaryAlso, the survival rate reaches 100% in the absence of transmission and declines to about 40% in the case of spread.
jasmineThe survival rate in the case of non-proliferation is about 31%, and in the case of spread, it is about 4%.


Yes, it may spread to the bones and lungs.

Enlargement of the neck, changes in the tone of the voice, difficulties in swallowing and breathing, in addition to fatigue and exhaustion.

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.