Chairman & Sr. Consultant
Thyroid Cancer Programme of BLK-Max Cancer Centre is one of the most well-known programmes in the capital with state-of-the-art facilities to treat most of the complex conditions associated with Thyroid Cancer.
A team of highly specialised thyroid cancer doctors, surgeons, doctors, oncologists and nursing staff follow a multidisciplinary approach to offer the best Cancer Care to patients using the latest technology and advanced diagnostics like Laryngoscopy and Fine-needle aspiration biopsy. The Centre uses the latest and most advanced option of Robotic Thyroidectomy to treat cancer cases related to the thyroid by simplifying complex procedures thereby facilitating better cosmetic outcomes.
Thyroid Cancer is the overgrowth of cells that begins in the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland that is present at the base of the neck; cancer that occurs in the cells of the thyroid is known as Thyroid Cancer. Generally, the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.
Thyroid Cancer starts from two types of cells present in the thyroid gland:
Follicular cells:These cells are responsible for the production of thyroid hormone
C cells:These are special cells present in thyroid and are responsible for making calcitonin, a hormone that participates in calcium metabolism
There are five main types of Thyroid Cancer:
Papillary Thyroid Cancer: Papillary Thyroid Cancer, the most common type of thyroid cancer, is also known as papillary carcinoma. It is slow-growing cancer that can spread to lymph nodes but is treatable and has a good prognosis.
Follicular Thyroid Cancer: It is also known as follicular carcinoma and is the second most common type of thyroid cancer. It is more aggressive than papillary thyroid cancer.
Medullary Thyroid Cancer: It is the rarest type of thyroid cancer. The cells inside the thyroid make the medulla, and there is a type of cell called C cells that proliferate in case of medullary thyroid cancer.
Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: It is the most aggressive type of thyroid cancer. It is known as undifferentiated thyroid cancer because the cells that grow exponentially do not mimic the usual thyroid cells.
Thyroid Lymphoma: It is a rare type of thyroid cancer in which lymphocytes inside the thyroid gland become cancerous.
The exact cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. Certain mutations occur in the thyroid gland that causes thyroid cancer.
Signs and symptoms of Thyroid Cancer are:
Constant neck and throat pain
Swelling or Lump in the neck that can be felt
Difficulty in swallowing
Change in voice, hoarseness
Surgical Biopsy or FNAC
Molecular testing of the nodule sample
CT (Computed Tomography) scan or MRI
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Avoid Radiation exposure: Exposure to radiation in any form can be dangerous and elevate the risk of Thyroid Cancer.
Undergo Genetic tests: It is one of the best ways to look for the gene mutations found in Familial Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC).
Removal of the thyroid gland: Thyroid glands can be removed in children who carry the abnormal gene
Avoid Smoking: Stop smoking as soon as possible.
Maintain a Balanced Weight: Keep a healthy weight.
Exercise Daily: Be physically more active, exercise for at least 30 minutes daily.
Following are the possible thyroid cancer treatment options.
Surgical: A doctor may operate to remove a canceroustumour and tissue in the surrounding areas where the cancer may have spread.
Total or Hemi-Thyroidectomy: This type of surgery helps in removing the thyroid glands lobe with the cancerous nodule
Robotic Thyroidectomy: A new option for thyroid cancer treatment that doesn’t leave a visible neck scar. This minimally invasive surgical technique removes all or part of the thyroid. It is also referred to as Robot Assisted Thyroid Surgery or Remote Access Thyroid Surgery.
Radiation Therapy: Involves the use of high-energy waves to kill cancer cells
Targeted Therapy: Targets cancer specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival
Immunotherapy: Involves the use of medicines that prompt the body's immune system or natural defences to destroy cancer
RAI (RadioActive Iodine) Therapy: This therapy is used to destroy the thyroid gland and any other thyroid cells (including cancer cells) that takes up iodine and which cannot be removed by surgery
Some of the major factors that lead to Thyroid Cancer are:
Gender: Women are more likely to develop Thyroid Cancer than men
Age: Thyroid Cancer can occur in people of all ages, but most of the cases are associated with people between the ages of 20 and 55
Exposure to radiation: Exposure to high levels of radiation by any means including radiation treatments can lead to Thyroid Cancer
Genetic syndromes: Certain inherited genetic syndromes can increase the risk of various types of Thyroid Cancer like Familial Medullary and Multiple Endocrine Neoplasias
Diet low in iodine: Iodine is the most important element for the normal functioning of thyroid glands. Thus, a diet low in iodine can elevate the risks associated with thyroid problems.
Breast Cancer: People who are breast cancer survivors may have a higher risk of Thyroid Cancer.
Thyroid cancers are not life-threatening because they respond well to treatment.
Generally, the prognosis of thyroid cancer is good. It depends on the type of thyroid cancer, stage, treatment modalities used and the body's response.
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