Thyroid cancer is a disease caused by the growth of abnormal cells in the thyroid gland. According to reports, people who are often exposed to radiation have a greater possibility of getting this type of cancer. Although this disease can be treated, it may come back several years after treatment or spread to other areas.
Hypothyroidism is a disease where the thyroid produces too little hormones and may result in patients feeling lethargic, depressed, aches and pains and weight gain. Secondary hypothyroidism is a thyroid problem that begins with one of two other glands, the hypothalamus, and the pituitary. In extreme cases, hypothyroidism can result in a life-threatening condition called "myxedema coma."
In most cases, hypothyroidism is easily treated with thyroid replacement (synthetic) hormones. Surgery is not typically required unless the gland is enlarged, diseased, or cancer is suspected.
Papillary Thyroid Cancer:
This is the most common type of thyroid cancer, accounting for approximately 80-90% of all cases. Papillary thyroid cancer is very treatable, and in many cases, curable. While papillary thyroid cancer often spreads to the cervical lymph nodes next to the thyroid in the neck, it does not commonly spread (metastasize) to distant organs. If it does metastasize, the bones and the lungs are the most likely sites where the cancer will spread. Papillary thyroid cancer is strongly associated with radiation exposure. It is most often seen in adults aged 30-50.
Follicular Thyroid Cancer:
Follicular thyroid cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed type of Thyroid Cancer, accounting for approximately 15% of diagnoses. It is usually detected by the presence of a small, painless lump in the neck.
The disease occurs more often in women than in men. Most people diagnosed with this type of thyroid cancer are under the age of 40. Metastasis occurs more often in follicular thyroid cancer than in papillary cancer, largely due to vascular invasion, allowing the disease to spread through the bloodstream. The bones and lungs are possible sites for metastasis, as in papillary thyroid cancer. Age greatly affects the prognosis of a person with follicular thyroid cancer; younger patients tend to fare better than older patients.
Unlike papillary carcinoma, follicular cancer is not as strongly related to radiation exposure.
It is estimated that medullary thyroid cancer accounts for 3% of thyroid cancer diagnoses, making it the third most common type. It is not related to radiation exposure and originates in the cells of the thyroid gland that produce the hormone calcitonin, called C cells. Women are diagnosed more often than men, and most are diagnosed at 40-60 years of age.
This type of thyroid cancer is the rarest and accounts for about 1-5% of thyroid cancer diagnoses. It is aggressive and spreads rapidly. Anaplastic thyroid cancer usually affects people over the age of 60.
Treatment options are limited as the disease does not respond well to treatment, making the prognosis poor for patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Froyd, L (2017). What are the four types of Thyroid Cancer. Verywell.com. Retreived from
Some 2,000 people will die from thyroid cancer this year alone. While thyroid cancer is not common, it is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society estimates that about 60,000 new cases of thyroid cancer are now being diagnosed each year. Often referred to glibly as the "good cancer" because common forms of thyroid cancer are often curable, a typical course for Thyroid Cancer patients can be daunting: surgical removal of the thyroid followed by radioactive iodine treatment to remove any remnants of the cancer, lifelong thyroid hormone replacement to treat the resulting hypothyroidism, and periodic scans to detect recurrence. Some thyroid cancer patients have multiple recurrences, serious complications from surgery, or the cancer spreads (Shannon, Verywell.com, 2016).
My Fight with Thyroid cancer has not been easy and it is very stressful to deal with insurance companies not wanting to pay for certain specialists, lab work, and procedures.
If you want to help me, you may send donations and/or buy raffle tickets. You can purchase raffle tickets or make donations by mail, online, or through my family members.