Saturday, September 23, 2023

Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer In Males

How Serious Is My Cancer

Thyroid Nodules: FAQs – Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatments

If you have thyroid cancer, the doctor will want to find out how far it has spread. This is called staging. You may have heard other people say that their cancer was stage 1 or stage 2. Your doctor will want to find out the stage of your cancer to help decide what type of treatment is best for you.

The stage describes the spread of the cancer through the thyroid gland. It also tells if the cancer has spread to other organs of your body that are close by or far away.

Your cancer can be stage 1, 2, 3, or 4. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, like stage 4, means a more serious cancer that has spread outside of the thyroid gland. Be sure to ask the doctor about the cancer stage and what it means for you.

Age Family History And Radiation Exposure Possible Thyroid Cancer Causes

A lump or nodule in the neck is the most common symptom of thyroid cancer. You may feel the lump, notice one side of your neck appears to be different, someone else might notice it, or your doctor may find it during a routine examination. Sometimes a thyroid tumor is found during diagnostic ultrasound or imaging tests performed for another reason. If the tumor is large, it may cause neck or facial pain, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, cough unrelated to a cold, hoarseness or voice change.¹

If you feel a lump, see a change in the size or shape of your neck, or experience symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor. Early detection of thyroid cancer is essential to a good treatment outcome.

Underactive Thyroid Problems In Men

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Men

Hypothyroidism , slows down metabolism and can therefore affect any organ or system in the body.

Common symptoms include:

  • Dry skin and brittle nails
  • Poor concentration

Some men experience loss of interest in sex and have trouble having erections.

A recent study sought to compare men with hypothyroidism and those without. An erectile dysfunction test was conducted on all the men using the International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire. The rates were put on a scale of 5 to 25.

The men with hypothyroidism averaged a score of 11.75 and the men without averaged 20.81.

Getting the Diagnosis and Treatment You Need

Thyroid symptoms in men develop over a period of time. For major symptoms to happen, the hormone level must be particularly low. It is better when detected early enough so that diagnosis can happen.

The most preferred test for hypothyroidism is the TSH test. The hormone is responsible for telling your thyroid to secrete more thyroid hormone.

Hypothyroidism is treated by replacement therapy of the thyroid hormone in form of a supplement. Your doctor will prescribe the right amount based on your body weight.

People with hypothyroidism will need treatment for life. Although thyroid dysfunction in men is fairly common, the condition affects more women than men. When diagnosed early, the hormone replacement treatment is safe and effective.

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Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer usually develops slowly, without many obvious symptoms. However, some people experience one or more of the following:

  • a painless lump in the neck
  • trouble swallowing
  • difficulty breathing
  • changes to the voice
  • swollen lymph glands in the neck .

Although a painless lump in the neck is a typical sign of thyroid cancer, thyroid lumps are common and turn out to be benign in 90% of adults. Having an underactive or overactive thyroid is not typically a sign of thyroid cancer.

Not everyone with these symptoms has thyroid cancer. If you have any of these symptoms or are worried, always see your doctor.

What To Do About Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Gland Cancer Photograph by Sciepro/science Photo Library

If you have one or more of these thyroid cancer symptoms, you should seek expert evaluation by a thyroid cancer expert. This may be a thyroid cancer surgeon or an endocrinologist who has expertise in the evaluation and management of individuals with thyroid cancer. The evaluation of a person with thyroid cancer symptoms includes:

  • A comprehensive history and physical examination.
  • Examination of the voice box to examine its appearance and how the vocal cords are working.
  • A high resolution ultrasound of the thyroid gland and neck lymph nodes
  • Special blood testing looking at the function of the thyroid gland as well as specific proteins that can be produced by thyroid cancers and found in the blood
  • Biopsy of the thyroid or lymph nodes of the neck with a tiny needle know as Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy or FNA
  • CAT scan may also be used in people with very large thyroid masses or cancers or when disease is concerned to be in locations not well examined by the ultrasound of the thyroid and neck.
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    Side Effects Of Thyroid Cancer Treatment

    All cancer treatments can have side effects. Your treatment team will discuss these with you before you start treatment. Talk to your doctor or nurse about any side effects you are experiencing. Some side effects can be upsetting and difficult, but there is help if you need it. Call Cancer Council Tel. or email to speak with a caring cancer nurse for support.

    Surgery For Thyroid Cancer

    Most patients with thyroid cancer have some type of surgery. Surgery is done to take out the tumor and all or part of the thyroid gland. Sometimes lymph nodes are taken out from the neck, too.

    Side effects of surgery

    Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. Possible side effects of thyroid surgery include:

    • Bleeding or a blood clot in the neck
    • Damage to the parathyroid glands
    • Short or long term problems with your voice

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    Thyroid Cancer Causes And Risk Factors

    Its not clear exactly what causes thyroid cancer to develop. However, there are a number of known potential risk factors, some of which can be modified and others that cant. According to the National Cancer Institute, risk factors for developing thyroid cancer include:

    Other research led by Dr. Harari is looking at whether certain environmental exposures, including to pesticides and flame retardants, have a link to thyroid cancer.

    Risk Factors For Thyroid Cancer

    Thyroid Cancer Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur)

    There are some things that can make it more likely to develop thyroid cancer. These are called risk factors and they include:

    • Exposure to radiation a small number of thyroid cancers are due to having radiation therapy to the head and neck area as a child or living in an area with high levels of radiation.
    • Family history only around 5% of thyroid cancer runs in families. Some inherited genetic conditions, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Cowden syndrome, or inheriting the RET gene may also increase your risk.
    • Other factors people who are overweight or obese possibly have a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. Other thyroid conditions only slightly increase the chance of developing thyroid cancer.

    Having these risk factors doesnt mean you will develop thyroid cancer. Often there is no clear reason for getting thyroid cancer. If you are worried about your risk factors, ask your doctor for advice.

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    Endocrine And Thyroid Cancer Symptoms Diagnosis And Risks

    Some endocrine cancers share common symptoms and signs. But, most types cause symptoms that affect the functions of the associated gland or nearby structures.

    Benign and cancerous tumors can cause similar symptoms.

    UPMC Hillman Cancer Center specialists have experience in finding the cause of endocrine symptoms.

    We’ll confirm whether your endocrine tumor is cancerous or non-cancerous. Then we’ll devise a treatment plan that works for you.

    After A Diagnosis Of Thyroid Cancer

    After a diagnosis of thyroid cancer you may feel disbelief, uncertainty, fear and anxiety. There is no right or wrong way to feel and experiencing a range of emotions is normal. While the most common types of thyroid cancers have a very good long-term prognosis, you may still feel shocked and confused. It may help to talk to family and friends about how you are feeling.

    Ask your specialist to explain treatment options and any potential side effects and financial concerns. Take as much time as you can so that you can make well-informed decisions.

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    What Causes Thyroid Cancer

    In most cases, the cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. However, certain things can increase your chances of developing the condition.

    Risk factors for thyroid cancer include:

    • having a benign thyroid condition
    • having a family history of thyroid cancer
    • having a bowel condition known as familial adenomatous polyposis
    • acromegaly a rare condition where the body produces too much growth hormone
    • having a previous benign breast condition
    • weight and height

    Read more about the causes of thyroid cancer

    Thyroid Cancer Survival Rate

    Thyroid Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

    Most thyroid cancers are very curable. In fact, the most common types of thyroid cancer papillary and follicular cancers have a more than 98% cure rate if theyre caught and treated at an early stage. The earlier you are diagnosed, the less likely it is that your cancer will have spread beyond the thyroid and the easier it is to treat.

    Medullary thyroid cancer has a worse prognosis and is likely to include lymph node involvement. Once cancer has entered the lymph nodes it spreads readily through the lymphatic system, meaning your cancer will require more extensive and possibly more aggressive treatment.

    The least common type of thyroid cancer, anaplastic thyroid cancer, has a very poor prognosis. The best results occur when localized anaplastic thyroid cancer is diagnosed early and completely removed via a thyroidectomy, as its very aggressive. Unfortunately, this cancer tends to be found after it has already spread.

    Because most people dont die from thyroid cancer, its sometimes called a good cancer to get even by some physicians. Almost everyone I take care of has heard that, Dr. Lieb says. But I take issue with it. Physicians can feel very bad telling people they have cancer, and rather than saying your prognosis is good, some downplay the diagnosis. But there isnt a good cancer.

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    What Are The Stages Of Thyroid Cancer

    Once you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, you will undergo testing to determine how far the cancer has spread, also known as the stage. Knowing the stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide the most appropriate treatment.

    The staging of papillary or follicular thyroid cancers is based on the age of the person at diagnosis specifically if they are younger or older than age 55 and the extent to which thyroid cancer cells have spread. The staging of anaplastic and medullary thyroid cancers does not take age into account.

    Common Thyroid Cancer Symptoms To Look For

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck. It produces hormones that help regulate your metabolism, temperature and energy levels.

    Thyroid cancer develops when cells within the thyroid mutate and grow abnormally. Thyroid cancer symptoms can be subtle early on and sometimes are blamed on an infection or a seasonal allergy. Thyroid cancer is highly treatable using a variety of methods.

    What are some common thyroid cancer symptoms?

    Thyroid cancer symptoms can vary among patients. The most common symptom is a painless lump in the neck.

    The lump often develops either in the thyroid gland, located at the base of the neck just above the breastbone, or on the sides of the neck, says endocrinologist Steven Waguespack, M.D. The neck mass can represent the primary tumor and/or an enlarged lymph node thats been replaced with cancer.

    Other thyroid cancer symptoms can include:

    • rapid growth of a neck mass
    • hoarseness of the voice
    • increase in bowel movements or diarrhea several times a day

    What are common risk factors for thyroid cancer?

    The most common risk factor for thyroid cancer is prior exposure of the thyroid to radiation, such as from radiation therapy given for cancer treatment, or internal radiation exposure that results from nuclear fallout. However, most people who develop thyroid cancer wont have any known risk factors.

    What are the different types of thyroid cancers?

    The four major subtypes of thyroid cancer, in order from most to least common, are:

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    Medullary Thyroid Cancer Is Sometimes Caused By A Change In A Gene That Is Passed From Parent To Child

    The genes in cells carry hereditary information from parent to child. A certain change in the RET gene that is passed from parent to child may cause medullary thyroid cancer.

    There is a genetic test that is used to check for the changed gene. The patient is tested first to see if he or she has the changed gene. If the patient has it, other family members may also be tested to find out if they are at increased risk for medullary thyroid cancer. Family members, including young children, who have the changed gene may have a thyroidectomy . This can decrease the chance of developing medullary thyroid cancer.

    Thyroid Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Thyroid Gland

    Thyroid Cancer (Papillary, Follicular, Medullary & Anaplastic) | Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

    The thyroid is a gland at the base of the throat near the trachea . It is shaped like a butterfly, with a right lobe and a left lobe. The isthmus, a thin piece of tissue, connects the two lobes. A healthy thyroid is a little larger than a quarter. It usually cannot be felt through the skin.

    The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to help make several hormones. Thyroid hormones do the following:

    • Control heart rate, body temperature, and how quickly food is changed into energy .
    • Control the amount of calcium in the blood.

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    Questions To Ask The Doctor

    • What treatment do you think is best for me?
    • Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
    • Will this treatment affect my ability to have children? Do I need to avoid pregnancy for a while?
    • Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
    • What will the surgery be like?
    • Will I need other types of treatment, too? Whats the goal of these treatments?
    • What side effects could I have from these treatments?
    • What can I do about side effects that I might have?
    • Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
    • What about special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
    • How soon do I need to start treatment?
    • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
    • Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
    • Whats the next step?

    Living With Advanced Cancer

    Advanced cancer usually means cancer that is unlikely to be cured. During this time palliative care services can help. Most people with thyroid cancer respond well to treatment and do not need to access palliative care services. However, people at any stage of advanced thyroid cancer may benefit from palliative treatment.

    Most people continue to have treatment for advanced cancer as part of palliative care, as it helps manage the cancer and improve their day-to-day lives. Many people think that palliative care is for people who are dying but palliative care is for any stage of advanced cancer. There are doctors, nurses and other people who specialise in palliative care.

    Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy or another type of treatment. It can help in these ways:

    • Slow down how fast the cancer is growing.
    • Shrink the cancer.
    • Help you to live more comfortably by managing symptoms, like pain.

    Treatment depends on:

    • how far it has spread
    • your general health

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    Side Effects Of Radioactive Iodine Therapy

    Side effects from radioactive iodine can include:

    • Mild nausea during the first day

    • Swelling and pain in the neck where thyroid cells remain

    • Temporary loss of smell and/or taste

    Additionally, high doses of RAI can cause problems with fertility . They can also kill normal thyroid cells along with the cancerous ones, which can lead to the need for thyroid hormone replacement medication.

    If you have to have RAI multiple times, the radiation can increase the risk of some cancers, including leukemia, says Dr. Lieb.

    What Kind Of Treatment Will I Need

    Thyroid Cancer

    There are many ways to treat thyroid cancer but surgery is the main treatment. The treatment plan thats best for you will depend on:

    • The stage of the cancer
    • The chance that a type of treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
    • Other health problems you have
    • Your feelings about the treatment and the side effects that come with it

    Depending on the type and stage of your thyroid cancer, you may need more than 1 type of treatment.

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    Thyroid Cancer Symptom #: Lump Or Mass In The Neck

    When thyroid cancer symptoms do exist, the most common symptom is a lump or a mass in the neck. This lump can be noted from a mass within the thyroid gland itself or when a thyroid cancer has spread to a lymph node. Thyroid cancer lymph nodes are usually not painful whatsoever. When a thyroid cancer lymph node is painful, the most common diagnosis is a special type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer.

    A case in point. A healthy 35 year young woman is having lunch with a friend and this friend notices a lump in her neck. Her high resolution ultrasound shows a lump in her right thyroid gland

    Figure 1: The red line points to the right thyroid mass shown in the high resolution ultrasound

    Her needle biopsy shows the most common type of thyroid cancer effecting women called papillary thyroid cancer. Her ultrasound further confirmed that the papillary thyroid cancer had spread to some lymph nodes in her neck and the CAT scan examining her thyroid cancer is shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: Red arrow in this CAT scan shows the right thyroid mass and the yellow arrow is pointing to the papillary thyroid cancer spread to a small neck lymph.

    Expert thyroid cancer surgical care is required to achieve the best cure rate and lowest complication rate for thyroid cancer. Figure 3 Shows what this papillary thyroid cancer looks like after it has been removed.

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