Thyroid cancer primarily forms in the thyroid glands, an organ which is a part of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for creating hormones that regulate the body’s normal functions. Furthermore, the thyroid is small, butterfly-like, with two lobes joined by a narrow isthmus and present at the base of the throat.
It has two primary cells namely including follicular cells and parafollicular cells. Follicular cells use iodine from the blood to form thyroid hormone. On the other hand, parafollicular cells (C cells) are responsible for the formation of calcitonin, and a hormone that helps in controlling the body’s usage of calcium.
Furthermore, the thyroid is responsible for the formation of thyroxine hormone which aids in the regulation of blood pressure, body weight, metabolism, heart rate and body temperature. Studies have shown that thyroid cancer can occur with any thyroid cell.
Several types of tumors and growths, both benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors which can spread to other parts of the body and tissues can develop in the thyroid. It is also important to be aware of various risk factors and symptoms of thyroid cancer. (1)
How Does Thyroid Cancer Occur?
Thyroid cancer occurs when irregular cells start to grow in the thyroid gland – the butterfly-like gland that lies in the front of the trachea (windpipe), slightly below the larynx (voice box). The thyroid gland is also responsible for making hormones that control how the body makes use of energy and also produces hormones that help the body to work normally. (2)
When abnormal cells start to grow inside thyroid gland, the disease thyroid cancer begins to form. Nevertheless, as thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer, the majority of its victims normally survive the ordeal. Its high survival rate is because doctors can detect this type of cancer in its early stages. Cancer type can be detected in its early stages. Furthermore, thyroid cancer treatments are often effective against the drug. (3)
What Causes Thyroid Cancer?
Like other types of cancers, changes and variations in the DNA of the body cells appear to play a significant role. These DNA alterations may consist of inherited changes as well as changes that happen naturally as one age. Additionally, people who receive high amounts of radiation are more likely to get thyroid cancer.
Having a dental X-ray from time to time does not increase the likeliness of getting thyroid cancer. Nonetheless, any past radiation treatment of the head or neck can put one at a great risk the disease.