Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

About Thyroid Cancer

The primary function of the thyroid gland is to produce and release hormones which are used by the body to provide energy required by various organs to function normally. It also regulates involuntary functions of the body like heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.

Thyroid Cancer is said to occur when there is uncontrollable growth of cells within the thyroid gland. It is believed to be the fifth common cancers that people suffer from in the United States and its ranking is going up each year as more and more patients are being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. This form of cancer is diagnosed much faster than any other form of malignancy.

With ongoing research and development in medical science thyroid tumors which may not have been even visible previously are now easily detected leading to early diagnosis and prompt treatment of this condition. This is perhaps the only form of cancer which can be cured completely by treating it.

There is no particular cause for Thyroid Cancer but researchers have identified certain risk factors that can make an individual vulnerable to Thyroid Cancer. This article will give a brief overview of some of those risk factors.

Am I at Risk for Getting Thyroid Cancer?

There are various risk factors which can predispose you to a condition like Thyroid Cancer. These include but are not limited to the following:

Age and Gender. Studies have revealed that females are much more vulnerable to Thyroid Cancer than males. Age is not that much of a factor when it comes to thyroid issues but usually thyroid cancer develops after the age of 55-60 in females and above 70 years in cases of males. In retrospect, thyroid cancer in males metastasizes more rapidly in males than females.

Exposure to Radiation. This is seen more in infants and young children than in adults. Any child when exposed to radiation for treatment of some form of cancer tends to develop thyroid cancer. However, in adults radiation does not have much effect on the thyroid gland.

Genetic Makeup. Genetics play an important role on whether you are at risk for getting thyroid cancer. If you have a direct relative like a brother, sister, father, or mother with thyroid issues then the chances of you getting thyroid cancer is quite high.

Certain other hereditary conditions like familial adenomatous polyps also increase the risk of you getting thyroid cancer. Some of the other genetic disorders that increase the risk of you getting thyroid cancer are:

  • Cowden Disease
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2
  • Familial medullary thyroid cancer

Iodine Deficiency. This is yet another prominent risk factor for Thyroid Cancer. Iodine is required by the body to make hormones. Iodine is found in various foods and is added to salt for boosting iodine levels in the body. While iodine deficiency it not that common in the United States, there many third world countries where this remains an ongoing problem and a cause for Thyroid Cancer.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 8, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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