Thyroid cancer is a disease that affects the thyroid gland located in the neck. Although it is not a very common cancer, it is important to be informed about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Additionally, there is a genetic predisposition that can increase the risk of developing this disease.
What is thyroid cancer?
Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the cells of the thyroid gland. This gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. Although thyroid cancer is not very common, it is more frequent in women than in men and can affect people of any age.
There are several types of thyroid cancer, including papillary carcinoma, follicular carcinoma, and medullary carcinoma. Papillary carcinoma is the most common type and tends to grow slowly. Medullary carcinoma, on the other hand, is rarer and can be more aggressive.
Causes and risk factors of thyroid cancer:
The exact cause of thyroid cancer is not known, but there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing this disease. Some of these factors are:
- Radiation exposure: Exposure to radiation, especially during childhood, can increase the risk of developing thyroid cancer.
- Family history: Genetic predisposition can increase the risk of thyroid cancer. If someone in the family has had thyroid cancer, it is important to inform the doctor.
- Age: Thyroid cancer is more common in people over 40 years old.
- Being female: According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that in 2023, 43,720 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed, of which 31,180 will be in women, representing just over 70%.
- Overweight or obesity: According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), people who are overweight or obese are at higher risk of developing thyroid cancer compared to those who have a normal weight. The risk increases as the body mass index increases.
- Cowden syndrome increases the likelihood that people who have it will suffer from thyroid disorders and certain types of non-cancerous growths. Iodine in the diet: Follicular thyroid cancers are more common in some areas of the world where people’s diets are low in iodine. 
Symptoms of thyroid cancer:
Thyroid cancer in its early stages may not present symptoms, but as it grows, some signs and symptoms may appear, such as:
- A slowly growing lump in the neck Neck or throat pain
- Hoarseness or changes in voice
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
If you currently have one or more of the mentioned symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and care.
Diagnosis of thyroid cancer
The diagnosis of thyroid cancer is made through tests such as ultrasound, biopsy, and measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in the blood. If the presence of a nodule in the thyroid is suspected.
Genetics and Thyroid Cancer
In medullary thyroid cancer, 25% of cases are hereditary, while in non-medullary thyroid cancer it is estimated that there is a hereditary component in 2.5 to 11% of cases . It is important to remember that the best and first step in any illness is prevention and early detection. Know your genetic predisposition to this condition and more with GalaxyDNA test today.
- CÁNCER HEREDITARIO DE TIROIDES, SÍNDROMES ASOCIADOS Y ESTUDIO GENÉTICO. (2017, August 2). CÁNCER HEREDITARIO DE TIROIDES, SÍNDROMES ASOCIADOS Y ESTUDIO GENÉTICO – ScienceDirect. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmclc.2017.06.008
Factores de riesgo del cáncer de tiroides. (n.d.). Factores De Riesgo Del Cáncer De Tiroides. https://www.cancer.org/es/cancer/cancer-de-tiroides/causas-riesgos-prevencion/factores-de-riesgo.html