Thyroid Cancer: definition, diagnosis and treatment

Written by: Dr.Prof. Antonio Martín Duce
Edited by: Top Doctors®


What is thyroid cancer and what types are there?

Thyroid cancer is a set of tumor diseases due to general, histological, characterized in that these cells have deregulated, ie without the normal regulation with other healthy cells and function, say, so Independent. There are basically four types. Two very benign, can be considered especially the first, papillary cancer is the slightest tumor, say with a better prognosis, which exists in all oncology and which are cells that differ very little from normal, advance very slowly and therefore they have a good prognosis, the disease itself. A third type is called medullary thyroid cancer, originated in different cells, cells that secrete another hormone, thyroid hormone but not calcitonin and takes place in a proportion of 30 - 40% of patients with familial origin. A syndrome is also characterized by other types of tumors. Finally, there would anaplastic cancer, very aggressive cancer, which is caused by a massive follicular differentiation of these cells, the basic cells of the thyroid, which occurs mainly in the elderly and it really has a poor prognosis but fortunately occurs in very few cases .


How is it diagnosed?

Thyroid cancer is usually diagnosed incidentally often. The patient is usually asymptomatic and is a review by any other circumstances, an ultrasound by injury or whiplash or a review of company, so it can reach diagnosed a lump in the central area or parallel to the central area, which is where the thyroid is located. And sometimes it is true that the patient or someone can see how protrudes training or one can be palpated a nodular area. Other times, more rarely, can be diagnosed by an aggressive cancer complications, which can result hoarseness, changes in voice ... but they are very rare. The definitive diagnosis is made and a clinical examination, a history, and primarily an ultrasound and cytology, which is called PAF. or fine needle aspiration. There are other tests to identify the extent of the tumor, but in essence these are the fundamentals, which are used preoperatively.


How is thyroid cancer treated?

In principle it is a surgical treatment. It is the mainstay of treatment and what is going to allow healing of the patient. However, in addition to surgery, it will be another type of treatment must be done in some cases may be waived in cases with very little advanced stages or very small tumors, but generally always going to give, it will be radioactive iodine or radio iodine to complete the removal of all cellular debris that can become and the surgeon was unable to remove. Third, the patient already registered will have to carry a substitute thyroid hormone treatment so as to maintain the TSH hormone levels as low as possible. Finally, global monitoring of treatment is mainly by his endocrinologist, also part of the endocrine surgeon so that there is an assessment of a tumor marker such as thyroglobulin or ultrasound guidance or by magnetic resonance imaging to see how the surgical site.


Can surgery be performed by any general surgeon?

In principle complex surgeries that involve technical difficulties and uncertain forecasts, as in any part of the human body surgery should be done by experts. In principle it should be done by a surgeon and surgical training high anatomical cervical surgery and it is the aim of avoiding complications and sequelae of surgical lesions parathyroid glands, nerves or major vessels located in the cervical region and, moreover, fundamental for a correct and complete removal of lymph nodes. Lymph nodes that will determine a prognosis and evolution of this disease and it must be done correctly and entirely if possible in the first intervention.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr.Prof. Antonio Martín Duce

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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