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Thyroid cancer

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer develops when abnormal cells in the thyroid gland grow and divide out of control, forming a tumour.

Doctors don’t yet know what causes thyroid cells to become cancerous, although exposure to radiation and certain genetic factors are known to increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer symptoms and signs

Thyroid cancer often develops slowly, and may have no obvious symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

These symptoms can be caused by other problems, so if you notice any of them see your doctor as soon as possible.

The diagnosis of thyroid cancer usually involves a physical examination, as well as tests such as blood tests, imaging such as an ultrasound or CT scan, biopsy and internal examination of the throat.

Thyroid cancer treatment

Most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured with treatment.

Usually, people with thyroid cancer need surgery, either to remove their entire thyroid gland (total thyroidectomy) or a part of it (partial or hemi-thyroidectomy). Sometimes it’s also necessary to remove nearby lymph nodes.

Other treatments include thyroid hormone replacement therapy (medication to replace the hormones the thyroid can no longer produce), and radioactive iodine treatment (used to destroy any cancer remaining after surgery). Some people also need chemotherapy, targeted drug therapies or external radiotherapy.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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Thyroid cancer | Cancer Australia

What is thyroid cancer? Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells within the thyroid gland grow in an uncontrolled way.

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Medullary thyroid carcinoma - Lab Tests Online AU

Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is, as the name suggests, a neuroendocrine tumourof the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a small gland that is found at the front of your neck, just below the Adams apple. The thyroid gland produces the hormones thyroxine and calcitonin. Thyroxine, while essential to the body, does not play a part in medullary thyroid cancer. Calcitonin is produced by C-cells in the thyroid gland and plays a part in the control of the level of calcium in blood together with other hormones PTH and 1,25 OH vitamin D. It is from these C-cells that MTC arises and calcitonin may be measured to aid diagnosis of the cancer or as a tumour marker to check a persons response to treatment along with another tumour marker CEA.

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Once treatment for thyroid cancer has been completed, before and after radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid cancer, and at regular intervals to monitor for recurrence

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