Thyroid cancer is a cancer that occurs in the thyroid gland, a gland that located in the front of neck (below the larynx) that responsible for producing hormones which are important in the regulation of the metabolic processes.
Thyroid cancer usually begins as small lumps (nodules) in the thyroid gland. While some nodules may be cancer, most thyroid nodules are benign (non cancerous).
Types of Thyroid Cancer
There are four main types of thyroid cancer. The most common one is Papillary carcinoma. More than 80% of all thyroid cancers diagnosed in the United States are papillary carcinoma type. This type of thyroid cancer is tends to grow slowly and least dangerous. If they are detected early, most can be treated successfully.
The other types of thyroid cancers include Anaplastic carcinoma, Follicular carcinoma and Medullary carcinoma.
Thyroid Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
The exact causes of thyroid cancer is unknown, however certain risk factors have been identified increase the risk of Thyroid cancer. These include:
- Being Asian
- Being a woman
- Being between ages 25 and 65
- Having a family member who has had thyroid disease
- Having radiation treatments to your head or neck
- Exposure to high levels of radiation