A malignant tumor can spread to any organ. The thyroid gland is no exception. Transformation of cells of glandular epithelium into oncological, their uncontrolled division contribute to the development of a life-threatening disease. From the materials of this article you will find out what symptoms are accompanied by thyroid cancer, how many people live with such a diagnosis, how can one prevent this pathology.
Description of the disease
Thyroid gland is an integral part of the endocrine system of the body. Like many other organs, it continuously produces hormones. Thyroxine and triiodothyronine are responsible for the regulation of brain function, metabolic processes, the rate of formation of blood cells.
The thyroid gland is located in the larynx region. Despite the small size, this organ is well probed. His work is controlled by the pituitary gland. The higher the activity of the gland, the less it produces the pituitary gland of hormones, and vice versa.
Shchitovidka cancer is a tumor of a malignant nature, which is gradually formed from the cells of the organ. The disease is very rare. It accounts for about 1% of all malignant neoplasms and less than 0.5% of deaths.
The peak incidence is fixed at the age of 45-60 years. Children and adolescents also have this kind of oncology. 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.
Shchitovidka cancer belongs to the group of non-aggressive tumors. Neoplasm for years can not be manifested, do not increase in size. However, this is not an excuse to ignore the disease and postpone its treatment. Modern diagnostics methods help to identify oncology at the initial stages of development and immediately proceed to therapy.
Types of thyroid cancer
This body is considered truly unique. Iron produces many hormones that are responsible for the regulation of the basic processes in the human body. Individual cells become a kind of basis for the development of certain types of cancer thyroid: papillary, follicular, anaplastic, medullary.
Papillary carcinoma accounts for up to 85% of the total number of neoplasms of malignant nature. The tumor is characterized by slow growth and usually occurs in one lobe of the organ. Two-sided thyroid cancer is observed in 15% of patients. How many patients live with this diagnosis, it is difficult to say. The neoplasm on its surface has a number of protrusions that look like papillae. If you examine the thyroid gland in absolutely healthy people, in 10% of cases you can identify tiny tumors. They do not manifest themselves in any way, 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 those countries where there is a deficiency of iodine in food. Usually the tumor does not go beyond the thyroid gland, but sometimes it can metastasize to other organ systems. With timely treatment, cancer patients recover.
Anaplastic carcinoma is a very rare type of tumor, in which non-typical cells develop consistently in the gland. They lose their primary functions and can only share. Neoplasm is characterized by rapid growth and spread throughout the body. The prognosis in patients is unfavorable in most cases, the cancer leads to a lethal outcome.
Medullary carcinoma accounts for 5% of the total number of neoplasms of the malignant nature. The tumor can affect the lymph nodes and lungs. The disease is accompanied by "hot flashes", redness of the face, a violation of the stool. Medullary cancer is usually detected in people after 45 years of age. Both women and men are equally affected by it. It is proved that the disease is inherited.
The main causes of thyroid cancer
The causes of this insidious disease, are still not definitively determined. Physicians call several factors that can several times increase the likelihood of developing a malignant tumor.
- Radioactive radiation. Studies conducted in the Chernobyl affected areas showed that after the explosion the incidence increased 15-fold.
- Radiation therapy. Long-term irradiation can cause problems with the thyroid gland after decades. The cells of the body become prone to various mutations, active division and growth.
- Hereditary predisposition. Scientists have discovered a specific gene that is transmitted from close relatives and is responsible for the development of this disease. His presence in the body almost 100% guarantees the appearance of oncology. For preventive purposes after diagnosis, doctors recommend an operation to remove the gland.
- Work on harmful production.
- Frequent stress. Serious psycho-emotional overloads negatively affect the protective forces of the human body. It is the immune cells that are responsible for the destruction of cancerous tumors.
- Pernicious habits.
- Changes at the hormonal level due to pregnancy or menopause.
The combination of one or more of several factors entails a cancer disease. The reasons found in time allow you to choose the most effective treatment option for pathology.
Symptoms of the disease
This organ looks like a butterfly. It is localized on the front surface of the neck and covered with skin, so that 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 discernible under the skin and resembles a slight elevation. In the initial stages, the nodule mobility is limited, painful discomfort is absent. As the disease progresses, it begins to increase in size and becomes denser.
Do not panic if you find a knot around your neck. Many people have seals, but only 5% of cases are cancerous tumors.
Another sign of a problem with the thyroid gland is an increase in the lymph nodes in the neck. Sometimes this is the only symptom of the ailment. Later, the tumor becomes larger, which is accompanied by a characteristic clinical picture. Patients often complain of a feeling of a coma in the throat, problems with swallowing, soreness of the neck. These symptoms indicate the development of the neoplasm. The seal gradually begins to squeeze the esophagus and trachea.
Stages of development of neoplasm
In any disease of oncological nature, four stages of development are distinguished. In this matter is not an exception of thyroid cancer. How many patients live with this disease, you will learn further in the materials of this article.
When determining the stage of the disease, the doctor usually takes into account the size of the neoplasm, as well as the presence of metastases. Metastasis is a secondary tumor. It is formed after the cancer cells spread to other organs with the help of lymph flow.
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 that destroy the thyroid gland. The third stage is characterized by the introduction of a seal into the glandular capsule. It begins to squeeze the trachea and surrounding tissue, metastases appear. When the thyroid gland strongly increases in size and becomes immobile, this is the fourth stage of cancer.
Consultation of an oncologist
If all symptoms indicate a tumor on the thyroid, you should visit the endocrinologist. There is no need to immediately consult an oncologist, because not always described in the article, the symptoms indicate malignant education.
Consultation of the endocrinologist usually begins with the patient's questioning, identifying possible causes of the pathology. Then the specialist conducts a visual inspection. The tumor in the neglected stage is visible to the naked eye.
As a result of the examination, the endocrinologist can draw a conclusion about the presence of the disease and send it to a more narrow specialist - the oncologist. A more detailed examination is usually required to determine the nature of the lesion.
How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?
In order to identify the disease of cancer, the reasons for its development, a serious diagnostic examination is required. It includes an ultrasound scan, cytology, a blood test, an MRI.
With the help of ultrasound, you can determine the size and exact location of the tumor. The so-called thyroid analysis is necessary to detect the content of its hormones in the blood. Cytological research involves the selection of a tumor tissue for the subsequent study 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 thyroid cancer can be treated with great difficulty. Exceptions are neoplasms at the initial stage of development, caused by an imbalance of the hormonal background. In other cases, doctors recommend the removal of the thyroid gland. Cancer stops in its development.
Timely identified education can be removed, while retaining the organ. When the hormone levels in the blood are too high, patients are additionally treated with thyreostatic drugs (Carbimazol, Propitsil).
Before and after surgical manipulations to remove the tumor, patients are forbidden to take sun baths, visit the solarium. Ultraviolet radiation can aggravate the course of the disease and provoke complications.
In patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer, surgery involves hemithyroidectomy, that is, removal of the part of the organ that is affected by the tumor. Patients aged are not always able to tolerate surgical intervention. Therefore, their treatment consists of therapy with radioactive iodine.
Forecasts of doctors
The prognosis for thyroid cancer is more optimistic than for other malignant formations. For example, in patients up to 45 years old and with compaction volumes up to 3 cm, a high chance of full recovery. In elderly patients, the outlook is not as favorable. Certainly, much depends on what type of thyroid cancer.
- How many patients live with a papillary form of oncology? The five-year survival rate in this case is 95-100%.
- In people with follicular carcinoma of the 4th stage, 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 anaplastic thyroid cancer is an unfavorable prognosis. After surgery to remove the tumor, patients with this diagnosis die most often within one year after the confirmation of the disease.
Regardless of the form of the disease and the stage of its development, it is important to remember that timely treatment and unlimited desire to live allow you to defeat any pathology!