Thyroid cancer rapidly grows without any symptom and when a symptom does present, the most common symptom is a lump in the neck. Less commonly, patients may have symptoms like hoarseness or change in voice. Symptoms of pain are rare except in inflammatory conditions of the thyroid and the rarer of thyroid cancers called medullary thyroid cancer. Something similar to how other cancer forms develop changes in the DNA of cells is responsible for the development of thyroid cancer. These alterations could either be genetically inherited or developed over a period of time. But, it is well established that cancer is not contagious at all.
Thyroid cancer risk factors
Exposure to radiation increases one’s chances of getting thyroid cancer and a mere dental X-ray, however, does not increase the chances of developing thyroid cancer but a radiation therapy to the head, neck or chest definitely does.
There has been wide research to understand DNA changes that become cancerous and in most of the cases cancers are not inherited, which clearly means that DNA gets damaged by the exposure to something in the environment such as radiation or smoke during the course of one’s life. The cancer can also develop when few unexpected changes take place inside a cell without any specific external reason.
The following are the prominent risk factors for thyroid cancer:
Benign thyroid disease
Thyroid conditions like either underactive or overactive thyroid are not related to the risk of thyroid cancer in anyway, however, non cancerous conditions such as nodules (adenomas), goitre (an enlarged thyroid) and thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid) increases the risk of thyroid cancer.
Radiation and low iodine levels
Thyroid cancer is more likely to develop in individuals who have gone through radiotherapy treatments at a tender age, though the cancer usually develops years later. Survivors of atomic explosions or accidents are also at a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. Individuals with low levels of iodine present in their body are at higher risk of thyroid cancer after any exposure to radiation.
Family history of thyroid cancer
Individuals with a family history of thyroid cancer are at greater risk of developing thyroid cancer.
Bowel condition FAP
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) which is a condition caused by an inherited gene increases the chances of developing thyroid cancer.
Breast condition history
Women with non-cancerous breast conditions are at higher risk of thyroid cancer.
Individuals who have gone through the treatment of breast cancer, esophageal cancer, testicular cancer or non Hodgkin’s lymphoma have greater risk of developing thyroid cancer.
Above are the possible risk factors for thyroid cancer suggested by research reports over the past few years? Although thyroid cancer is very rare form of cancer, it is recommended to be aware about its symptoms and treatment options for better prognosis.
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