The thyroid is a small gland that is shaped somewhat like a butterfly. This gland is located at the base of the neck just in front of the windpipe and below the voice box. Although the thyroid is quite small it performs some very important functions. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing a hormone which the body uses to regulate heart rate, blood pressure, weight and body temperature. When thyroid cancer occurs the thyroid does not adequately perform the function it is responsible for this. This often causes too much or too little of the thyroid hormone to be produced which creates many problems.

In the beginning, thyroid cancer doesn’t usually cause any noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses however there are many symptoms that may manifest. These symptoms often include the following:

Weight Loss
Weight Gain
Increased Appetite
Imbalance of Hormones
Metabolic Imbalances
Pain in the neck and throat

Often the symptoms that present themselves depend on the specific type of cancer that is present.

There are several different types of thyroid cancer that a person may develop. These types include papillary, follicular, medullary and anaplastic. Each of these specific cancers may affect the thyroid however it is necessary to know which one is present in order to know how best to treat the condition. Some of these types of cancer are much more difficult to treat and some are more likely to occur at different times in a person’s life. For example some types of this cancer are more prevalent in people between thirty and forty years of age while others may not be likely to occur until a person is fifty or over.

Health care providers and researchers are not sure at this time what specifically causes thyroid cancer. Nor can they answer the question of why some people get this disease when others don’t even though they may share similar risk factors, medical histories or lifestyle choices. Some of the most common risk factors for developing this type of cancer include family history, exposure to radiation and some genetic conditions which may be inherited.

Thyroid cancer is very rare however it is being seen more often as of late. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that are known to be associated with thyroid cancer it is recommended that this would be a good time to speak to your doctor. The early this condition is detected the easier and more successful treatment will be.

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