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The thyroid is a butterfly shaped organ that helps to regulate metabolism including heart rate, blood pressure, weight, and body temperature. It is located in the neck in front of the trachea (windpipe) and has a right and a left lobe connected by an isthmus (a thin area of tissue). The specialists at CareMount Medical are experts in detecting and diagnosing thyroid cancer early in its development, safely removing the thyroid, and treating the cancer.
The team of cancer experts at CareMount Medical have been extensively trained to detect thyroid cancer at its earliest stage, safely remove the thyroid gland, and facilitate post-surgical (adjuvant) treatment including thyroid hormone suppression and possibly radioactive iodine ablation.
In most cases, someone with thyroid cancer does not experience any symptoms. It is usually found during a routine neck examination or incidentally during an imaging study of the neck. When the cancer begins to develop, a person may notice a lump in the front of their neck.
If a person is suspected to have thyroid cancer, a doctor will perform a diagnostic evaluation. The physician will discuss the patient’s medical history, family history, and any symptoms he/she may be experiencing. A physical examination of the neck will be performed to check for abnormal lumps or growths and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
Thyroid function tests including thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and possibly thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4) may be ordered.
An ultrasound uses sound waves to provide a detailed image of internal organs and soft tissue. A doctor may take an ultrasound of the neck to check on the size of the patient’s thyroid including the size and characteristics of thyroid nodules that have developed in the gland.
The other tests can help determine within a reasonable doubt that cancer may be present, but the only way to know definitively is through a biopsy. During this procedure, the doctor will extract a sample of the suspicious tissue. This is usually done as a fine needle aspiration, where a needle is inserted into the nodule and cells are withdrawn into a syringe. A pathologist in a lab will examine this tissue to determine if the growth is cancerous.
|Type||Description of Cancer|
|Papillary Thyroid Cancer||This type of cancer grows in finger-like shapes on the thyroid and tends to spread to lymph nodes. However, the outlook for patients who develop this type of cancer is generally good because it grows slowly.|
|Follicular Thyroid Cancer||Follicular cancer affects the follicular cells in the thyroid and is more likely to spread to distant organs than papillary cancer.|
|Medullary Thyroid Cancer||Medullary cancer develops in C cells in the thyroid, which make a hormone that controls the level of calcium in the blood.|
|Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer||Anaplastic cancer is by far the most aggressive form of thyroid cancer and is often more difficult to treat.|
*Data is taken from the American Thyroid Association
The most common treatment options include:
To schedule an appointment or obtain a second opinion on your diagnosis, please call the CareMount Medical Cancer Center Referral Line at 1-844-484-3292.