What are thyroid tumors?
Tumors of the thyroid or thyroid cancer occurs in the thyroid gland, located at the base of your neck. The gland produces various hormones affecting heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight, amongst other functions. The thyroid tumors are cells that undergo mutations, leading to the cells growing and multiplying more rapidly than normal healthy cells.
There five different types of thyroid tumors, as enumerated below:
- Papillary thyroid cancer
- Follicular thyroid cancer
- Medullary thyroid cancer
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer
- Thyroid lymphoma
What are the causes & risk factors of thyroid tumors?
Genetic abnormalities and mutations are the primary case of thyroid tumors. The risk of thyroid cancer is slightly higher amongst women and increases, if an individual has had exposure to high levels of radiation. Also, the risk is higher amongst individuals who have had a case of thyroid cancer in the family.
What are the signs & symptoms of thyroid tumors?
In the early stages, thyroid tumors are non-symptomatic. However, with advancement in the disease, the condition can be evidenced by the following symptoms:
- A lump in the neck region
- Abnormal voice changes
- Swallowing problems
- Pain & discomfort in the neck.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck.
How can we prevent thyroid tumors?
There are no specific preventable measures against thyroid tumors, because most of the risk increasing factors are non-modifiable. In some cases, the risk can be reduced by limiting and avoiding exposure to radiation. Also, for those with a family history of thyroid tumors, it is important to get screened and detect the condition early.
What are the treatment options for thyroid tumors?
Treatment for thyroid tumors depends on the stage of the disease and its severity. Surgery can be performed to remove either a part or the whole of the thyroid gland based on the prevalence of the disease. In some cases, removal of the lymph nodes from the neck region may also be necessary.