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Oncology & Hematology

Thyroid Cancer Treatment in Dubai at CMC

Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, which is a small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones. Thyroid cancer is more prevalent in people in their 30s and those over the age of 60 years. Women are more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men.

Although it can occasionally return after therapy, thyroid cancer is treatable, and in many cases entirely curable.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

  • A mass of swelling in the front of the neck that is painless; yet only one in twenty neck lumps are cancerous.
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Hoarseness that does not get better after a few weeks
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A persistent cough and aching throat

Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer

If one begins to experience symptoms of thyroid cancer which may be caused by less serious conditions like an enlarged thyroid (goitre), it becomes necessary to have a medical check-up. To make a diagnosis, the doctor will examine the patient’s neck and may recommend a blood test to check how well the thyroid is working.

The patient will be referred to a specialist for more testing if the primary doctor suspects cancer or is unsure of the cause of the patient’s symptoms.

Types of Thyroid Cancer

  • Papillary carcinoma: This is the most common type of thyroid cancer. It is more prevalent among people under 40 years especially women.
  • Follicular carcinoma: This type usually affects middle-aged adults, particularly women.
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma: This type occurs in less than one in every ten occurrences, and unlike the other types, it can run in families.
  • Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma: This is the least common and most severe kind, accounting for roughly 1 in 50 instances; it typically affects adults over 60.

Causes and Risk Factors of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer develops when the DNA of the thyroid cells is altered, leading to the cells’ uncontrollable growth and development of a lump.

The exact cause of this change is not yet established but there are several factors that increase an individual’s risk. These include:

  • Other thyroid conditions such as goiter or inflammatory thyroid, but neither an overactive thyroid nor an underactive thyroid.
  • A family history of thyroid cancer
  • Radiation exposure in childhood
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) – a bowel condition
  • Acromegaly, which is a rare disorder where the body overproduces the growth hormone

Treatment for Thyroid Cancer

Treatment of thyroid cancer largely depends on the type of thyroid cancer one has and to what extent it has spread.

Treatment options include:

  • Surgery: This is performed to remove part or the entire thyroid
  • Radioactive iodine treatment: The patient will be required to swallow a radioactive substance that will travel through his/her blood and kill the cancer cells.
  • External radiotherapy: This involves the use of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer the cells
  • Chemotherapy and targeted therapies: These are medications used to kill cancer cells in the body.
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