It is the most common tumor of the endocrine system and affects mostly women. How early detection and proper treatment increase the chances of a cure.
September 24, 2021.- Thyroid cancer is the most common tumor of the endocrine system. In the world, its incidence is increasing due to the inclusion of cervical ultrasounds by routine health checks.
However, despite that increase, in the last decades’ mortality decreased by more than 50%. In Argentina, according to the latest statistics carried out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2018, almost 3,500 new cases of thyroid cancer were registered, of which 86% were diagnosed in women.
It is estimated that this disease affects three times more women than men and to a greater extent those between 40 and 60 years old. This predisposition in the female sex would be related to hormonal variations and alterations in autoimmunity.
Although its origin can be hereditary or due to exposure to radiation, the cause that triggers it is still unknown. In recent years, and partly because the controls are increasingly precise and allow early detection, there has been an increase in the disease that, diagnosed early, can be completely cured in most cases.
As in most diseases, early diagnosis is of great help for the proper approach and increases the chances of cure. “The signs and symptoms that should be taken into account are the presence of a palpable lump or nodule in the front of the neck (base of the throat), pain in the front of the neck, sometimes reaching the ears, hoarseness or other changes in the voice that persist and disorders in swallowing “. The doctor, researcher and director of the Institute of Immuno-oncology that bears his name Ernesto Crescenti (MN 50,776) explained that “The diagnosis is made based on a fine needle puncture of a thyroid nodule or after the nodule is removed during surgery. Once the diagnosis is obtained, the type of treatment will be determined according to the patient ”.
Although thyroid nodules are very common, “less than 1 in 10 contain thyroid cancer” said the specialist, who highlighted that “early detection increases the chances of total cure and that the prospect of treatment is highly positive”.
And after recommending going to the doctor at the first symptoms, Crescenti advised “if you have a family history, get regular checkups and take preventive measures such as self-checkups to identify possible changes in the shape and size of the thyroid.”
The doctor Juan Manuel Fernández Vila (MN 95166) in charge of the head and neck surgery sector of the German Hospital, pointed out that “this type of cancer should be approached in a multidisciplinary manner with the participation of endocrinology, head and neck surgery, diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine and pathological anatomy services”.
And he added some data that should be taken into account about this disease:
- The only scientifically proven risk factor is radiation exposure.
- Thyroid cancer is the fifth most prevalent in women, after cancers of the skin, breast, cervix and colon.
- Early diagnosis by the endocrinologist is very important during periodic health checks.
- The main treatment is Total Thyroidectomy (removal of the entire gland) and in selected cases, Hemithyroidectomy (half of the gland).
- Properly treated thyroid cancer has a 97% five-year survival.
On World Thyroid Cancer Day we know that the most effective way to treat this tumor is total thyroidectomy, but what according to Rodríguez Zía “conventional medicine forgets in 100% of cases is that when the thyroid gland is removed the person runs out of two fundamental hormones that they reproduce: one is the thyroid hormone and the other is calcitonin ”.
“Usually the patient is supplemented with the famous thyroid hormone called levothyroxine or T4, which will then be transformed in our body into T3,” the endocrinologist explained. But what is never indicated is to replace the second hormone produced by the gland, calcitonin, the lack of which produces an increase in the severity and progression of osteoporosis, since calcitonin is intended to support vitamin D and help the calcium is fixed in the bone ”.
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