Thyroid Cancer: 5 Facts About the Fastest-Growing Cancer
Dr. Erik Alexander
Thyroid cancer involves a cancerous growth in the thyroid gland. But unlike most cancers, thyroid cancer is on the rise: About 37,000 new cases were detected last year.
Here’s what you need to know about thyroid cancer:
1. Much of the spike in detection is accidental
We aren’t aware of any new hazard that causes thyroid cancer. More people are getting CT scans for other reasons, and that is how the cancer is often found. Risk factors for thyroid cancer include family history, exposure of the thyroid gland to radiation and being older than age 40.
2. Dental X-rays are likely not a threat
Although radiation in the head and neck increases your risk of thyroid cancer, dental X-rays contain an extremely low dose of radiation and generally focus on the jaw and teeth.
3. Women are more likely to have thyroid lumps
A thyroid nodule is an abnormal growth of thyroid cells that forms a lump. But while nodules are more common among women, they tend to more often be cancerous in men.
4. Nine out of 10 thyroid lumps are not cancer
Usually, a thyroid lump is benign. But it still needs to be biopsied, just in case. If you notice a bulge in your neck or you have difficulty swallowing that persists for at least two weeks, see your doctor.
5. Treatment works
If cancerous cells are found, the thyroid gland is removed via surgery, and patients must take thyroid replacement therapy, a daily pill, for the rest of their life.
Should you worry about your own risk? Not if you’re proactive about your health. Here’s what to do to prevent:
Know your history
Your doctor should examine your thyroid if a family member has had thyroid problems before. Also tell your doctor if you received head and neck radiation during childhood, suggests the National Cancer Institute.
Do a self test
Tip your head back and take a drink of water. As you swallow, look at your neck in the mirror: Your thyroid is located between your Adam’s apple and your collarbone. A healthy thyroid is a little larger than a quarter and cannot be felt through the skin; if you see any lumps or protrusions in your neck, talk to your doctor.
Ask for a neck apron before dental X-rays
Although dental X-rays have a low dose of radiation, it’s still a good idea to use lead aprons and a separate neck apron over the thyroid area, especially for children under 16.
Eat your fruits and vegetables
A diet high in antioxidants and low in saturated fat can reduce your risk of thyroid and other cancers. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, recommends The American Cancer Society.
Dr. Erik Alexander is a spokesperson for the American Thyroid Association and an assistant professor in the department of endocrinology, diabetes and hypertension at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Available at Amazon.com:
- Thyroid Cancer: 5 Facts About the Fastest-Growing Cancer
- Where Germs Love to Hide
- Lowering Cholesterol Naturally: Lifestyle Tips
- For Those With Diabetes, Smoking Can Increase Complications
- Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones
- Headache Relief: 6 Tricks to Ease the Pain
- Psoriasis: More Than Skin Deep
- Pathological Gambling: Treatments Based on Those For Substance Abuse
- Tiny Specks of Dust May Add Up to Heaps of Trouble
- Steps Can Be Taken to Prevent Recurrence of Swimmer's Ear
- Pain You Should Not Ignore
- The Food Un-coma
- Beat Canker Sores Now
- Snooze Soundly Even When You are Sick
- Living With Fibromyalgia: Take Steps to Limit Your Pain
- Is Heart Attack Going Out of Style?
- What Can I Do to Prevent Cataracts?
- For Vast Majority, Night Sweats Don't Represent Medical Concern
- Arthroscopic Surgery Often Good Option for Torn Rotator Cuff
- Diagnosis of Prediabetes Should Prompt Lifestyle Changes
- Is There a Solution for Watery Eyes?
- Fibromyalgia Symptoms Improve With Tai Chi
- What Can I Do to Stop Smoking if Standard Treatments Don't Work For Me?
- Try Natural Solutions For Insomnia
- Treatments Vary for Different Forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Be Aware of Signs and Symptoms Associated With Tick-Related Diseases
- Recovery From ACL Surgery Can Take Up to a Year
- Shake the Salt Habit
- Stomach Pain: When to Call the Doctor
- Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine?
- Is Not Washing Your Face Good For Your Skin?
- Pain in Finger Joints a Common First Symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Preventing Alzheimer's: 7 Risks to Consider
- Pancreas Transplant Doesn't Always Remove Need for Diabetes Treatment
- ALS Not Likely the Cause if No Other Symptoms Present
- Stents Useful Alternative to Temporary Colostomy In Some Patients With Colon Cancer
- Best Remedies for Back Pain
- Stop Insomnia - Inside the Mind of an Insomniac
- 'Bump' On Collarbone Not Uncommon After Fracture
- MLD a Rare and Serious Progressive Disease
- Sleep Apnea: Keeping Up the Positive Pressure
- Alternatives to Statins for Lowering Cholesterol
- Recurrence of Basal Cell Carcinoma Uncommon After Mohs Surgery
- Can Surgery Treat Type 2 Diabetes?
- Self-Care Techniques to Relieve Discomfort From Buttock Pain
- Artificial Lenses Have Long Been Used to Correct Vision
- Gene Mutation That Causes Huntington's Can Occur Spontaneously
- Is It Better to Stop Smoking Abruptly or Gradually?
- Brain Scan Alone Cannot Predict Likelihood of Dementia
- Is Sunscreen Dangerous? 4 Sun Protection Dos And Don'ts
- Low Platelet Count Not Necessarily Reason to Postpone Surgery
- Could Swimming in Cool Water Cause a Heart Attack?
- Bringing Psoriasis Under Control
- Best Summer Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
- Fight the Common Mold Allergy
- Largest Ever Cell Phone Cancer Study is Inconclusive
- Treating Early-Stage Esophageal Cancer
- TNF Inhibitors Offer Relief to Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Prostate Exam Good First Stop When PSA Levels Increase
- 7 Nasty Germs That Could Land Your Kid in the Hospital And How to Avoid Them
- Secondhand Smoke A Serious Public and Personal Health Problem
- What to do About Excessive Belching and Feeling Full?
- Chest Pain: A Heart Attack or Something Else?
- Screening Plays Key Role in Detecting Polyps Before They Become Cancerous
- Learn How to Read Supplement Labels
- Compression-Only CPR Can Replace Conventional CPR in Many Circumstances
- Diabetes: Could You Have Diabetes and Not Know It
- Fighting Inflammation with Food
- Cortisone Injections Unlikely to Have Negative Affect on Bones
- Bad Health Habits Rob Years From Life Span
- The Importance of Decreasing Dietary Sodium
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Takes Your Breath Away
- 7 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease
- Hypotension or Stiff Arteries May Cause Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
- Is It OK to Travel to a High Altitude With High Blood Pressure?
- Existing Drugs to Treat Herpes Are Very Effective
- Dry Mouth Can Be a Serious Problem
- 6 Simple Ways to Improve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- All About Gout: Old Disease Becoming More Common
- Frequent Monitoring Critical to Effectively Manage Scleroderma
- How to Identify Suicide Risk Before It's Too Late
- Tips for Natural Allergy Relief
- Inflammation May Play Role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Bouncing Back After Being Sick
- Nicotine Patch May Offer Some Benefit to Ulcerative Colitis
- Common Myths and Misconceptions About Diabetes
- Vitamin E Supplements Not Recommended for Those With Diabetes
- Tick-Borne Disease Risk Peaks in Spring and Summer
- Meibomitis Creates Receptive Environment for Bacteria
- Top 4 Seasonal Allergy Mistakes
- Stress Less: Ten Strategies That Work
- Paralyzed Limbs Revived by Hacking Into Nerves
- Can Acid Reflux Damage my Esophagus
- Treadmill Test Can Reveal Hidden Problems in Heart
- Suffering From Allergies? Tailor Treatment to Your Symptoms
- Researchers Break Through to Unconscious Patients
- Key Factors Related to Heart Attack Risk
- Type 2 Diabetes Increases Risk for Cardiovascular Problems
- Hypochondria: The Impossible Illness
- Surgeries Can be Combined But May Not be Necessary
- Is Heartburn Surgery the Answer?
- Best Cooking Methods for Heartburn Sufferers
- 14 Things You Might Not Know About Aspirin
Copyright © 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.