Understanding Thyroid Cancer
December 04, 2020
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland, which is located in the front part of the neck, positioned below the Adam’s apple area. There are four types of thyroid cancer: anaplastic, follicular, medullary, papillary and 95% of thyroid cancers are either follicular or papillary.
Younger patients with thyroid cancer have a better prognosis than older patients:
- Patients who are younger than 40 have a10-year relative survival rate that is higher than 95%.
- Patients older than 40 have a 10-year relative survival rate that is about 80%.
- Family history - some gene mutations that run in families can increase the likelihood of developing
- Radiation exposure of the neck - exposure may occur during radiation for other types of cancer in the head or neck. It may also occur during diagnostic studies, such as CT scans.
- a lump or swelling in the neck
- chronic cough
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- pain in the front part of the neck that may extend up toward the ears
A Spectrum of Services Under One Roof
At Huron Regional Medical Center, we offer a full range of options to diagnose and treat thyroid cancer. That means you can count on comprehensive care delivered by medical professionals working together to optimize outcomes. Diagnostic ultrasound with or without fine needle biopsy is a crucial first step in iagnosing thyroid nodules and potentially thyroid cancers. This may be followed by repeat ultrasound for nodules less than 1 centimeter in an effort to keep these nodules from getting larger. Larger nodules of 1 centimeter or more may be biopsied.
If cancer is found, surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland is the standard course of treatment. “Thyroid cancer workup and treatment, while it may seem scary, can quickly and effectively be performed here in Huron through minimally invasive techniques,” says Anthony H.Loewen, MD, board-eligible general surgeon at HRMC. “Furthermore, the surgeons and operating room staff at HRMC are fully equipped to perform surgery to remove thyroid cancer close to home.”
At HRMC, we tailor diagnostic imaging and biopsies to work with your schedule. We quickly send results to your local doctor or surgeon so you may establish next steps together.
“Typically, these surgeries are either same-day surgery or require an overnight stay,” Dr. Loewen says. “Being able to do that close to home can be very omforting, and decreased travel times are always welcome. Having your surgeon and clinic in your hometown can also be helpful if you have questions or concerns postoperatively.”
To learn more about thyroid cancer, visit HRMC's Health Library. To find a provider at Huron Regional Medical Center, visit www.huronregional.org/find-a-doc.
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