The thyroid gland is situated in the neck. Thyroid gland looks like a butterfly. In the thyroid gland, you have the right lobe, left lobe and nest mass which connect the two lobes. The thyroid regulates the different functions of body like heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, and temperature. Thyroid cancer develops in the thyroid cells. When abnormal cells start forming, they start to multiply within the thyroid gland which eventual results in cancer tumor.
Signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer
Dr. Sandeep Nayak, one of the best oncologists in India says “Thyroid cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms or signs in the early stage. As the thyroid tumor grows, it may cause several symptoms.”
The signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer are as follows:
- Lump in the neck
- Throat and neck pain
- Swollen lymph nodes around your neck
- Change in your voice such as increasing hoarseness.
- Chronic cough
The causes of thyroid cancer are not yet clear but there are certain things that can raise the risk of getting thyroid cancer. The inherited genetic syndromes, iodine deficiency, and radiation exposure are some of the causes of thyroid cancer.
Now let’s see the different types of thyroid cancer.
Papillary thyroid cancer
Papillary thyroid cancer is common in thyroid cancer. This type of cancer accounts for 70% to 80% of all thyroid cancer. It arises from follicular cells. These follicular cells produce and store thyroid hormones. This type of cancer can arise at any age, but mostly it affects people with an age 30 to 50.
Medullary thyroid cancer
In some cases, medullary thyroid cancer is a hereditary disorder. It begins in thyroid cells called C cells, which produce the hormone calcitonin. This cancer accounts for 5% to 10% of all the thyroid cancers.
Follicular thyroid cancer
Follicular thyroid cancer makes up to 10 to 15% of all cancers and it mostly occurs in older people. Follicular cancer first spreads to nearby lymph nodes in the neck. This type of cancer can spread to blood vessels and from there it can spread to distant areas like lungs and bones.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer
Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the most advanced thyroid cancer. It is a rare type of thyroid cancer. It is found in less than 2% of thyroid cancer patients.
Treatment options for early-stage thyroid cancer
If thyroid cancer is diagnosed early then there are high chances of treating that cancer completely. The thyroid is mostly cured by treatment or group of treatments. All thyroid cancer should be removed surgically. The surgery helps in treating early-stage thyroid cancer.
There are many types of surgeries in thyroid cancer. Some of the thyroid cancer surgeries are as follows:
In lobectomy surgery, the lobe (sometimes along with isthmus of thyroid) containing the tumor is removed. This type of surgery is used to treat papillary or follicular thyroid cancer.
Thyroidectomy surgery is the most common surgery for thyroid cancer. It is used to remove the thyroid gland.
There are two types of thyroidectomy: Total thyroidectomy & Near-total thyroidectomy
- i) In a total thyroidectomy, the entire thyroid gland is removed
- ii) In a near-total thyroidectomy, nearby gland is removed.
- Lymph node removal
Lymph node removal is mostly used in medullary thyroid cancer and anaplastic thyroid cancer. When the nearby lymph nodes are involved in cancer tumor then these nodes are removed at the time of surgery.
There are many approaches to thyroid cancer surgery. The detailed information about thyroid cancer surgeries are as follows:
- Traditional open surgery
The traditional open surgery is operated via a large 6cm-8cm incision and then cancer tumor is removed. After conventional open surgery, the scars are visible. In this approach the recovery time of the patient is very slow compared to advanced surgery options.
- Laparoscopic thyroid surgery (Endoscopic Thyroid Surgery)
Laparoscopic thyroid surgery is one of the advanced techniques used to remove thyroid cancer tumors. This surgery is operated via 2-3 small incisions near the armpit and near nipples. The main advantage of this type of surgery is there are minimally visible scars after the completion of surgery. The laparoscopic technique can be used in total thyroidectomy with lymph node removal. Dr. Sandeep Nayak is one of the top surgical oncologists in India and he has fellowship in laparoscopy cancer surgery. He prefers laparoscopic surgery as there are many benefits to patient.
- Robotic-Assisted Breast- axillo Insufflated Thyroidectomy (RABIT)
RABIT is the most advanced technique used to treat thyroid cancer. This technique is done using the Da Vinci robotic system. Robotic-Assisted Breast- axillo Insufflated Thyroidectomy (RABIT) technique is introduced by Dr. Sandeep Nayak in India. Dr. Sandeep Nayak is one of the best cancer specialists in India. He has more than 21 years of experience in surgical oncology and he has treated many patients using all the advanced cancer treatments.
This surgery is operated through the armpit skin fold with small incisions. There are minimally visible scars after the treatment. The pain during and after robotic surgery is very less to patient
Dr. Sandeep Nayak is a pioneer of laparoscopy and robotic cancer surgery in India. To know more information on advanced treatment of thyroid cancer and Dr. Sandeep Nayak, you can visit his website.