Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Thyroid Tumors

Cancer Types - Thyroid Tumors

Did you know?

A nodule found in a man's thyroid is more likely to be cancer than when found in a woman.

What is radioactive iodine treatment?

The thyroid needs iodine to properly produce the thyroid hormones. By administering radioactive iodine to a patient, the thyroid tissue will absorb the altered iodine, which then destroys that thyroid tissue.

What are thyroid tumors?

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck at the base of the throat. Thyroid tumors are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) growths. Examples of benign tumors are adenomas, which secrete thyroid hormone. Malignant tumors are more rare and are more common in women than in men. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), about 44,670 cases of thyroid cancer were expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2010.

What are thyroid adenomas?

Thyroid adenomas are small growths (nodules) that start in the cell layer that lines the inner surface of the thyroid gland. The adenoma itself secretes thyroid hormone. If the adenoma secretes enough thyroid hormone, it may cause hyperthyroidism. Thyroid adenomas may be treated if they cause hyperthyroidism. Treatment may include surgery to remove part of the thyroid (the overactive nodule).

What are cancerous thyroid tumors?

Cancer of the thyroid occurs more often in people who have undergone radiation to the head, neck, or chest. However, it may occur in people without any known risk factors. Most thyroid cancer can be cured with appropriate treatment. Thyroid cancer usually appears as nodules within the thyroid gland. Some signs that a nodule may be cancerous include:

What are the different types of thyroid cancer?

The major types of thyroid cancer are:

What are the symptoms of thyroid cancer?

Early thyroid cancer may not cause any symptoms. As the cancer grows, one of the first signs of thyroid cancer is usually a painless lump or swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Other symptoms may include:

However, the symptoms of thyroid cancer may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for thyroid cancer may include:

What is the treatment for thyroid cancer?

Specific treatment for thyroid tumors will be determined by your physician based on:

Treatment may include one or more of the following:

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