Thyroid nodules may not be felt by an individual unless he consults a health care professional, for a physical examination. There are times when thyroid nodules and cancer are interrelated. To know more on this subject, read this article.
Thyroid nodules cannot be perpetually deemed cancerous in nature. One should not panic about this situation, as all thyroid nodules are not virtual indicators of cancer. There are nodules that can be termed as tumors when there is a cluster of non-cancerous cells that form a nodule. It has been found that thyroid nodules are less prevalent in children.
On the other hand there are some contradictory studies that show that they are more common in children, while some indicate that the chances and probabilities of countering this cancerous growth has reached an equilibrium between the two age sectors. Thyroid nodules may not be noticeable until one consults a medical practitioner for his/her routine check-up. It is during this time that the doctor examines the section and may conclude that they have invaded the system.
Types of Thyroid Cancer
There are five types of thyroid cancer. Papillary carcinoma; a type of thyroid cancer found in individuals who are less than 40 years of age. This form of thyroid cancer cannot be termed as a fatal type of cancer, as it is found to be treatable, the evidence being the high survival rates. Follicular cancer; being a common type of cancer which, even if spreads to the lymph nodes, is treatable.
Medullary cancer; a rare type of cancer that has its roots in the parafollicular cells, often runs in families and may require surgical intervention demanding the thyroid gland to be removed. Thyroid lymphoma, a cancer type that results in the thyroid gland enlargement; and Anaplastic cancer, where the cancer spreads rapidly to the other parts of the body, are amongst the category of being rare in nature. Unfortunately, these two tumors are not completely treatable; the lymph nodes have been affected even before other symptoms are experienced and a nodule like formation is felt.
As mentioned in the initial note of the article, a majority of nodules are not pernicious in nature, however, they are considered cancerous tumors when:
- There is difficulty experienced when swallowing morsels.
- Drinking fluids becomes increasingly agonizing – (a prominent thyroid nodule symptom).
- The nodules are hard when touched and cause pain.
- Lymph nodes appear swollen and a reddish tinge highlights the area.
- Breathing becomes difficult.
- Hoarseness of voice.
Measuring the Intensity of Thyroid Nodule
Thyroid nodules could be heredity; running down through family trees, or it may be due to a radiation therapy administered near the sections of the neck or the head. It has been observed that individuals who have undergone a radiation therapy develop thyroid cancer well after 8 to 10 years have lapsed. There are certain tests that can measure the intensity and potency of the thyroid nodules. They are tested through a thyroid scan, this being the most reliable test. A thyroid scan refers to the nodule being hot or cold in intensity. When the thyroid scan is conducted, radioactive elements are either swallowed or injected.
They are checked on their potency to hold on to the radioactive substance. If the radioactive substance is held in excess which in turn leads to the neighboring areas becoming blackish gray in color, one may derive that the nodule is ‘hot’ in nature. When the result derived centers around the nodules being hot and black in appearance, we may conclude that the nodules are predominantly not lethal in nature. In the actual, the thyroid scan makes sure to comprehend the secretion ability of the hormone. If the secretion ability is displayed, the nodule is termed hot and may indicate a development of hyperthyroidism, whereas if the secretion ability is weak, the nodule is considered ‘cold’.
The treatment could be surgically removing the nodules. It is recommended that the nodules be removed even if they are non-cancerous and just benign tumors. There are certain tumors that may be filled with pus; usually known as cysts. The doctor punctures the cyst and drains the fluid. Unlikely to return, if however they make a comeback, they are surgically removed. After the surgery has been successfully conducted, a series of tests are conducted intermittently to monitor the situation. Radioactive thyroid scans, sonograms, CT scans and MRIs are conducted to mark any change that may indicate the return of the nodules or any type of pernicios growth.
Thyroid nodules and cancer, as mentioned, are not interwoven, yet are interrelated. It is important that you garner an expert consult to relieve this health issue without any procrastination on your behalf. Following your doctor’s advice and treatment devices is the first step to getting better.