*** symptoms of thyroid cancer ***
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer In Women | Thyroid Disease Problems Symptoms In Women
The symptoms start slowly. Fatigue is the most common. There might be changes in hair, nails or skin, and other vague complaints that could be caused by aging, diet, stress or dozens of other factors.
Women in the prime of their lives, busy with work and families, may not even notice. When a doctor finally diagnoses an underactive thyroid due to cancer, it often comes as a shock.
Thyroid disorders are more common in women, probably due to the roles of hormones, which are different in females than in males.
Thyroid nodules (growths), Russell says, affect up to 80 percent of women, but only 5 percent to 15 percent of those lumps and bumps are malignant. Better testing means thyroid tumors are on the rise, he notes, saying that it’s projected to become the third most common cancer.
“Malignant” and “cancer” are scary words, but Russell says that most thyroid cancer is highly treatable, even when the cancer cells spread to nearby lymph nodes, which occurs frequently.
“With thyroid cancer we talk about prognosis in terms of 20-year survival instead of five years, as we do with most other cancers. It’s usually a slow-moving disease. There’s a 98 to 99 percent survival rate at 20 years,” he says.
“We treat it almost like a chronic condition where the patient gets treatment and visits her doctor regularly for follow-up.
If a woman notices a lump in the base of her neck, or if a doctor notices a lesion on the thyroid on an X-ray or CT, the next diagnostic test is usually lab work, followed by an ultrasound, which Russell says provides a lot of information on the nodule.
Doctors may recommend watchful observation of small nodules. Larger growths may be tested with fine-needle aspiration, in which the doctor collects a sample of cells from the nodule with a needle and looks at them under a microscope.
Russell says that about 70 percent of nodule biopsies will show that the nodule is benign. Another 25 percent of biopsies are inconclusive, and the remaining 5 percent show that cancer is present.
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