Definition of Thyroid Cancer

  • Forms when cells start to mutate and multiply at the thyroid grand.
  • Constitute of the small butterfly-like shaped organ located at the base of the neck.
  • Responsible for the control of the metabolism including the release of hormones with direct functions in the body (Felson, 2018).
  • Produces hormones that help in the regulation of metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate, and the body temperatures (American Cancer Society, ACS, 2019).
  • It is formed when abnormal cells multiply around the thyroid forming a tumor.
  • It is one of the most treatable form of cancer (UK National Health Services, NHS, 2019).

Types of Thyroid Cancer

  • Follicular thyroid cancer (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017.).
  • Papillary thyroid cancer (Felson, 2018).
  • Medullary thyroid cancer (Felson, 2018).
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer (National Cancer Institute, NCI, 2020).
  • Thyroid lymphoma (ACS, 2019).

Causes of the Disease

  • There are four main causes: –
    • Gender and age (Felson, 2018).
    • Exposure to radiations at early ages, e.g., radiation therapy in children (NCI, 2020).
    • Heredity and genetics passed along family lines e.g., familial medullary thyroid cancer (FMTC).
    • Lack of enough iodine.

Demographics of the Disease

  • Statistical analysis – 52,890 new cases recorded.
  • 40,170 – women.
  • 12,720 – men.
  • Prevalence of the disease is higher in women than men (ACS, 2020).
  • However, higher fatality rate is among men than women.
  • Women between 40s and 50s are at higher risk of developing thyroid cancer.
  • Men at 60 years and above are at higher risk.

Signs and Symptoms & Laboratory Findings

  • Signs and symptoms
    • At early stages, thyroid cancer does not have any symptoms or signs.
    • Symptoms that can be experienced include: –
      • pain on the neck and around the throat,
      • increasing hoarseness,
      • swollen lymph nodes,
      • difficulties in swallowing and breathing,
      • constant cough, and
      • lump in the front of your neck (NHS, 2019).
    • Laboratory findings
      • Uses blood tests to detect the presence of cancer in the body.
      • Testing comprises of drawing blood used to test for the thyroid gland function.
      • Blood test focuses to confirm or rule out the prevalence of hyperthyroidism (too high) or hypothyroidism (to low) levels (NHS, 2019).

Diagnosis and Images of the Disease & Treatment

  • Diagnosis
    • Blood test – thyroid function test.
    • Tests various levels of thyroid hormones in the blood (NHS, 2019).
    • Ultrasound – used to create image of inside the body.
    • Allows to check for lump that develops into cancer.
    • Biopsy is done to confirm the presence of cancer.
    • CT scan and MRI scan are used to determine the magnitude of thyroid cancer on your neck.
  • Treatment
    • Surgery
    • Radioactive iodine treatment
    • Radiotherapy

Diet for the Patient & Prognosis of the Disease

  • Diet for the Patient
    • Maintain low iodine levels in the diet (Cao et al., 2017).
    • Consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh meat, white eggs, unsalted nuts and butter nuts (Barrea et al., 2020).
    • Regulated consumption of seafood (Fiore et al., 2020; Li, He, Bansal & Hennessey, 2016)
  • Prognosis
    • Most thyroid cancer cases are curable.
    • Follicular and papillary thyroid cancer are the most common.
    • 50 years’ individuals have 98 percent cure rate (Clayman, 2019).
    • Early diagnosis increases cure capacity and success rate.

References

American Cancer Society, ACS. (2020). About thyroid cancer. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/thyroid-cancer/about.html

Barrea, L., Gallo, M., Ruggeri, R. M., Giacinto, P. D., Sesti, F., Prinzi, N., … & Colao, A. (2020). Nutritional status and follicular-derived thyroid cancer: An update. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 1-35.

Cao, L. Z., Peng, X. D., Xie, J. P., Yang, F. H., Wen, H. L., & Li, S. (2017). The relationship between iodine intake and the risk of thyroid cancer: a meta-analysis. Medicine96(20).

Clayman, G. (2019, May 14). Thyroid cancer. Endocrineweb. Retrieved from https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid-cancer/thyroid-cancer

Felson, S. (2018, Nov 13). Thyroid cancer. WebMD Medical Reference. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/cancer/thyroid-cancer-symptoms

Fiore, M., Cristaldi, A., Okatyeva, V., Bianco, S. L., Conti, G. O., Zuccarello, P., … & Ferrante, M. (2020). Dietary habits and thyroid cancer risk: a hospital-based case–control study in Sicily (South Italy). Food and Chemical Toxicology, 111778.

Han, S. (2017, Apr 6). Thyroid cancer. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/thyroid-cancer

Li, J. H., He, Z. H., Bansal, V., & Hennessey, J. V. (2016). Low iodine diet in differentiated thyroid cancer: a review. Clinical endocrinology84(1), 3-12.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017, Mar 11). Thyroid cancer. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thyroid-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20354161

National Cancer Institute, NCI. (2020, May 21). Thyroid cancer treatment (Adult) (PDQ®) – patient version. NIH. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/types/thyroid/patient/thyroid-treatment-pdq

National Health Service, NHS. (2019, Aug 28). Overview – Thyroid cancer. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/thyroid-cancer/

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