Did you know that women are diagnosed with three of every four thyroid cancers?
About two-thirds of cases are in people ages 20 and 55, and some are more at risk than others for developing thyroid cancer.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to self-diagnose thyroid cancer because it doesn’t trigger noticeable signs or symptoms at first.
Whether you’re a female between the ages of 20 and 55, have a family history of thyroid cancer, or are experiencing some troublesome symptoms, we can help. Here’s expert information about symptoms, and the proper lab tests you can order today to find out for sure.
As this type of cancer grows, symptoms may include:
Today, it's easier than ever to order lab tests without seeing your doctor first.
These are the ones we recommend for detecting thyroid cancer:
If you’re experiencing any worrisome thyroid cancer symptoms or signs, order a thyroid test and then schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Symptoms can include any changes you feel inside your body, like those listed above. Signs include any changes you can measure, like blood pressure or lab results. Together these signs and symptoms can help medical professionals identify, diagnose, and treat your medical problems.
Unfortunately, early-stage thyroid cancer does not have many warning signs. It is often diagnosed during routine physical exams—that’s why it’s so important to get regular check-ups. Thyroid cancer may also be unintentionally diagnosed during unrelated x-rays or imaging scans.
There are two categories of thyroid cancer, differentiated and non-differentiated.
Differentiated thyroid cancers come from follicular cells (the primary type of cell in the thyroid). They look like normal cells and spread more slowly than poorly or non-differentiated cancers.
They’re also more responsive to treatment.
Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent thyroid cancer. However, there are several ways you can lower your risk. They include:
Regular screening, prevention, and early detection of thyroid cancer symptoms are essential for successful treatment.
Your treatment options largely depend on the type and stage of your thyroid cancer, overall health, and preferences.
The six standard types of thyroid cancer treatment include:
The exact cause of thyroid cancer remains unknown; however, it has been linked to several risk factors. They include:
Most people diagnosed with thyroid cancer have an excellent prognosis, meaning most can be cured with the proper treatment.
The 5-year survival rate for low-stage papillary cancer is 99%. For low-stage follicular cancer, the rate is 98%, and for low-stage medullary cancer, the survival rate is 90%.
If you're diagnosed with thyroid cancer, your doctor will try to determine if it has spread and, if so, how far. This process is called staging.
Cancer stages are commonly assigned a number between one and four.
A lower number means the cancer only involves the thyroid and will likely respond well to treatment. A higher staging number means the cancer has spread or metastasized to other cells or organs throughout the body.
The higher the number, the more serious the diagnosis.
Doctors also use the TNM system to further categorize your thyroid cancer's size, location, and severity, along with the numerical stages. It focuses on three things:
A number is then assigned to each of these letters to categorize the diagnosis further and help determine the most effective treatment.
Cancer staging is complex. It’s important to talk to your primary healthcare provider or oncologist if you have any questions or concerns. They can explain what your specific staging and TNM numbers mean.
Results are typically available within 1-2 business days from Quest Diagnostics.