MemorialCare Cancer Institute at:
Thyroid CancerThyroid cancer occurs in the thyroid gland, an organ located in the throat near the Adam’s apple. This small gland produces hormones to regulate the metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. At times, lumps or nodules may form in the thyroid. Most of these lumps are non-cancerous (benign) but a small percentage are cancerous (malignant).
The four main types of thyroid cancer are:
SymptomsThyroid cancer symptoms may include: If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a MemorialCare Physician partner.
Causes & PreventionThe causes of thyroid cancer are unknown. It is difficult to prevent thyroid cancer as most risk factors cannot be controlled. A healthy diet and avoiding exposure to X-rays at a young age (when possible) are recommended.
Risk FactorsYou are at a greater risk for thyroid cancer risk if you:
DiagnosisAfter a physical exam a blood test can be taken to check the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). An ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) can be performed to view the thyroid gland to determine if nodules are solid (may be cancerous) or fluid. A fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy may also be taken so that tissues from the thyroid gland can be viewed by a pathologist under a microscope to detect thyroid cancer and the type.
StagingIf cancer is diagnosed and before treatment begins, additional tests are performed to determine the stage of the cancer and to see if it has spread to other parts of the body.
TreatmentsMemorialCare’s experienced team of oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and surgeons conduct roundtable discussions (tumor boards) of newly diagnosed patients to make recommendations for the best course of treatment.