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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is thyroid cancer?
Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably in the thyroid. These abnormal cells grow to form a cancer, which can spread to other parts of the body (metastasize).
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland that sits at the base of the voice box (larynx) near the windpipe (trachea). It produces hormones that control the body's temperature, metabolism and heart rate. It is also involved in controlling the levels of calcium in the blood.
What causes thyroid cancer?
The cause of thyroid cancer, as with other cancers, is due to damage to cellular DNA. This damage results in uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, which leads to formation of a cancer. The damage to thyroid cells can be from a number of causes, such as …
Can thyroid cancer be cured?
Most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured with appropriate treatment, especially if found early.
What increases the chances of developing thyroid cancer?
Risk factors for thyroid cancer include: age - people most affected are 25 to 65 years old; gender - thyroid cancer is more common in women; radiation exposure; diet - a diet low in iodine or high in cheese, butter and meat; an …
What is the outlook for thyroid cancer?
Prognosis for thyroid cancer varies according to its type and stage, but is generally very good. The overall five-year survival rate is 96%. For those who survive the first year, the survival rate increases to 98%. These survival rates do not apply …
How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?
Thyroid cancer is diagnosed from specific blood tests, scans such as ultrasound and computerized tomography (CT), and a tissue biopsy.
How is thyroid cancer treated?
Thyroid cancer is treated using a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and targeted therapy. The choice of treatment is determined by the type of thyroid cancer being treated.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 13 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Votes: 367 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Thyroid cancer