A nodule found in a man's thyroid is more likely to be cancer than when found in a woman.
What is radioactive iodine treatment?
The thyroid needs iodine to properly produce the thyroid hormones. By administering radioactive iodine to a patient, the thyroid tissue will absorb the altered iodine, which then destroys that thyroid tissue.
The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck at the base of the throat. Thyroid tumors are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) growths. Examples of benign tumors are adenomas, which may secrete thyroid hormone. Malignant tumors are more rare and are more common in women than in men. According to the American Cancer Society, over 56,000 cases of thyroid cancer were expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2012.
Thyroid adenomas are small growths (nodules) that start in the cell layer that lines the inner surface of the thyroid gland. The adenoma itself may secrete thyroid hormone. If the adenoma secretes enough thyroid hormone, it may cause hyperthyroidism. Thyroid adenomas may be treated if they cause hyperthyroidism. Treatment may include surgery to remove part of the thyroid (the overactive nodule).
Cancer of the thyroid occurs more often in people who have undergone radiation to the head, neck, or chest. However, it may occur in people without any known risk factors. Most thyroid cancer can be cured with appropriate treatment. Thyroid cancer usually appears as nodules within the thyroid gland. Some signs that a nodule may be cancerous include:
The first sign of a cancerous nodule in the thyroid gland is usually a painless lump in the neck.
However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Other symptoms may include:
However, the symptoms of thyroid cancer may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for thyroid cancer may include:
There are four main forms of thyroid cancer:
|Papillary thyroid cancer||Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common form of thyroid cancer, accounting for about 80 percent of all cases. This form of thyroid cancer affects more women than men.
Treatment for papillary cancer may include:
|Follicular thyroid cancer||Follicular thyroid cancer accounts for about 10 percent of thyroid cancer cases. This type of thyroid cancer is more aggressive and tends to spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Still, the prognosis (outlook) is very good in most cases.
Treatment for follicular cancer may include:
|Anaplastic thyroid cancer||Anaplastic thyroid cancer tends to occur most often among women and accounts for about 2 percent of thyroid cancer cases. This quick-growing cancer usually results in a large growth in the neck. It has often spread to other parts of the body by the time it is found and is very hard to treat effectively.
Treatment for anaplastic thyroid cancer may include:
|Medullary thyroid cancer||
Medullary thyroid cancer accounts for about 4 percent of thyroid cancers. It tends to spread through the lymphatic system (which consists of a system of vessels that connect lymph nodes throughout the body) and the bloodstream to other parts of the body. This type of cancer produces excessive amounts of calcitonin, a hormone also produced by the thyroid gland itself.
Treatment for medullary thryroid cancer may include:
Additional surgery or other treatments may be necessary if the cancer has spread.
Because medullary cancer tends to run in families, screening tests for genetic abnormalities in the blood cells may be conducted.
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