A malignant tumor can spread to any organ. Thyroid is no exception. Transformation of glandular epithelial cells into oncological, their uncontrolled division contributes to the development of a life-threatening disease. From the materials of this article, you will learn what symptoms are accompanied by thyroid cancer, how many people live with such a diagnosis, how to prevent this pathology.
Description of the disease
The thyroid gland is an integral part of the endocrine system of the body. Like many other organs, it continuously produces hormones. Thyroxin and triiodothyronine are responsible for the regulation of the brain, metabolic processes, the rate of formation of blood cells.
The thyroid is located in the larynx area. Despite its small size, this organ is palpable. His work is controlled by the pituitary gland. The higher the activity of the gland, the less hormones the pituitary gland produces, and vice versa.
Thyroid cancer is a tumor of a malignant nature, which is gradually formed from the cells of an organ. The disease is recognized as very rare. It accounts for about 1% of all malignant neoplasms and less than 0.5% of deaths.
The peak incidence is recorded at the age of 45-60 years. This type of oncology is also found in children and adolescents. Thyroid cancer in women is diagnosed three times more often than in the stronger sex. In old age, men are more likely to get sick than their peers.
Thyroid cancer belongs to the group of non-aggressive tumors. The new growth for years can not be shown, not increase in sizes. However, this is not a reason to ignore the disease and postpone its treatment. Modern methods of diagnostics help to identify oncology at the initial stages of development and immediately begin therapy.
Types of thyroid cancer
This body is considered truly unique. Iron produces many hormones that are responsible for the regulation of the main processes in the human body. Individual cells become a unique basis for the development of certain types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, anaplastic, medullary.
Papillary carcinoma accounts for up to 85% of the total number of malignant neoplasms. The tumor is characterized by slow growth and usually occurs in one lobe of the organ. 15% of patients have bilateral thyroid cancer. It is hard to say how many patients with such a diagnosis live. The neoplasm on its surface has many protrusions that resemble the nipples. If you examine the thyroid in completely healthy people, in 10% of cases, tiny tumors can be detected. They do not manifest themselves, but sometimes reach impressive sizes, which requires immediate treatment.
Follicular carcinoma is considered the second most common malignant tumor of the gland. The disease is most often detected in countries where there is a shortage of iodine in food. Usually, the tumor does not extend beyond the thyroid, but can sometimes metastasize to other organ systems. With timely treatment, cancer patients recover.
Anaplastic carcinoma is a very rare type of tumor in which atypical cells in the gland consistently develop. They lose their primary functions and can only share. New growth is characterized by rapid growth and spread throughout the body. The prognosis in patients in most cases is unfavorable, the cancer is fatal.
Medullary carcinoma accounts for 5% of the total number of malignant tumors of the gland. A tumor can affect the lymph nodes and lungs. The disease is accompanied by "tides", redness of the face, violation of the chair. Medullary cancer is usually detected in people over 45 years of age. Both women and men are equally affected. It is proved that the disease is inherited.
The main causes of thyroid cancer
The causes of this insidious disease have not yet been fully determined. Doctors call several factors that can increase the probability of developing a tumor of a malignant nature by several times.
- Radioactive radiation. Studies conducted in the areas affected by the Chernobyl accident showed that the incidence increased 15 times after the explosion.
- Radiation therapy. Prolonged exposure may cause problems with the thyroid gland after decades. Body cells become prone to various mutations, active division and growth.
- Hereditary predisposition Scientists have discovered a certain gene that is transmitted from close relatives and is responsible for the development of this disease. Its presence in the body almost 100% guarantees the appearance of oncology. As a preventive measure, after diagnosis, doctors recommend surgery to remove the gland.
- Work in hazardous industries.
- Frequent stress. Serious psycho-emotional overload adversely affect the defenses of the human body. It is the immune cells that are responsible for the destruction of cancer.
- Harmful habits.
- Changes at the hormonal level due to pregnancy or menopause.
The combination of one or several factors leads to cancer. Causes that were discovered in a timely manner allow us to select the most effective pathology treatment option.
Symptoms of the disease
This body looks like a butterfly. It is localized on the front surface of the neck and covered with skin, thanks to which the thyroid gland is clearly visible.
The first sign of tumor development is the appearance of a small nodule on the gland itself. It is clearly distinguishable under the skin and resembles a slight elevation. In the initial stages, the mobility of the nodule is limited, painful discomfort is absent. As the disease progresses, it begins to grow in size and becomes more dense.
You should not panic if you find such a nodule in the neck. Many people have seals, but only in 5% of cases are these cancers.
Another sign of a thyroid problem is an enlarged lymph node in the neck. Sometimes this is the only symptom of the disease. Later, the tumor becomes larger, which is accompanied by a characteristic clinical picture. Patients often complain of a feeling of coma in the throat, problems with swallowing, sore neck. These symptoms indicate the development of a neoplasm. Compaction gradually begins to squeeze the esophagus and trachea.
Stages of neoplasm development
In any disease of oncological nature, there are four stages of development. In this matter is no exception thyroid cancer. How many patients live with this disease, you will learn further in the materials of this article.
In determining the stage of the disease, the doctor usually takes into account the size of the tumor, as well as the presence of metastases. Metastasis is a secondary tumor. It is formed after the cancer cells spread to other organs through the flow of lymph.
The first stage of the disease is characterized by the appearance of a small tumor that does not deform the capsule of the gland. At the next stage, new formations are formed, which destroy the thyroid gland. The third stage is characterized by the introduction of a seal into the gland capsule. It begins to squeeze the trachea and surrounding tissue, metastases appear. When the thyroid gland is greatly enlarged and becomes immobile, we are talking about the fourth stage of cancer.
If all the symptoms indicate a tumor on the thyroid gland, you should visit an endocrinologist. There is no need to immediately contact an oncologist, because the symptoms described in the article are far from always indicative of malignancy.
An endocrinologist's consultation usually begins with questioning the patient, identifying possible causes of pathology. Then the specialist conducts a visual inspection. The tumor in the advanced stage is visible to the naked eye.
According to the results of the examination, the endocrinologist can make a conclusion about the presence of the disease and refer it to a narrower specialist - an oncologist. To determine the nature of the tumor usually requires a more detailed examination.
How to diagnose thyroid cancer?
In order to identify the cancer disease, the causes of its development, a serious diagnostic examination is required. It includes a thyroid gland ultrasound, cytology, blood tests, MRI.
Using ultrasound, you can determine the size and exact location of the tumor. The so-called analysis of the thyroid gland is needed to detect the content of its hormones in the blood. Cytological examination involves the sampling of tumor tissue for subsequent examination of the material under a microscope.
Based on the results of the tests, the oncologist recommends a course of therapy.
Treatment options for thyroid tumors
Unfortunately, conservative treatment of thyroid cancer is difficult. The exceptions are neoplasms at the initial stage of development, caused by an imbalance of hormonal levels. In other cases, doctors recommend removal of the thyroid gland. Cancer stops in its development.
Timely identified education can be removed, while maintaining the body. In case of overestimated hormones in the blood, patients are additionally prescribed therapy with thyreostatic drugs ("Carbimazole", "Propitsil").
Before and after surgical procedures to remove a tumor, patients are prohibited from sunbathing or attending a tanning bed. Ultraviolet radiation can aggravate the course of the disease and provoke complications.
In patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer, surgery implies hemithyroidectomy, that is, removal of the lobe of the organ that is affected by the tumor. Patients in the age can not always undergo surgery. Therefore, their treatment consists of therapy with radioactive iodine.
The prognosis for thyroid cancer is more optimistic than for other forms of malignant nature. For example, in patients under 45 years of age and with compaction volumes of up to 3 cm there is a high chance of complete recovery. In elderly patients, the prognosis is not as favorable. Of course, a lot depends on what type of thyroid cancer.
- How many patients with papillary oncology live? Five-year survival in this case is 95-100%.
- In people with follicular carcinoma stage 4, this figure does not exceed 55%.
- With medullary cancer, doctors guarantee the final recovery of 98% of patients. If the disease is at the last stage, this indicator barely exceeds 25%.
- An unfavorable prognosis is characterized by anaplastic thyroid cancer. After surgery to remove a tumor, patients with such a diagnosis die most often within one year after confirming the ailment.
Regardless of the form of the disease and the stage of its development, it is important to remember that timely treatment and the unlimited desire to live allow us to defeat any pathology!