Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Symptoms, Treatments, and Prognosis for Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma
Papillary thyroid cancer (also sometimes called papillary thyroid carcinoma) is the most common type of thyroid cancer. Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits just below your voice box. It’s only about as big as a quarter, but the hormones it makes help control how your body works, including your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. You may have even heard your doctor talk about metastatic papillary thyroid cancer (“metastatic” means that it has spread beyond your thyroid gland). This article will focus on papillary thyroid cancer basics, including papillary thyroid cancer symptoms, treatments, and prognosis.
What Is Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer is a solid tumor cancer that usually shows up as a nodule, or mass, in the thyroid gland, which is located at the front base of your throat. It occurs when rogue cells reproduce too rapidly for the immune system to control. There are several types of thyroid cancer, but two types — papillary thyroid cancer and follicular thyroid cancer — are by far the most common, accounting for some 95 percent of cases. Between 1% and 2% of people will get thyroid cancer at some point during their lifetime. It affects three times as many women as men and is most common after age 30, though it can occur in any age group. Thyroid cancer is more likely to be aggressive in older adults.
Thyroid Cancer Types
There are four main types of thyroid cancer, which differ in their aggressiveness and other factors:
- Papillary Thyroid Cancer
This is by far the most common form of thyroid cancer, accounting for between 80% and 85% of all diagnoses. It’s among the most curable of all cancers.
- Follicular Thyroid Cancer
About 10% to 15% of thyroid cancers fall into this category. It’s more aggressive than papillary thyroid cancer and can invade other areas of the body through the bloodstream. A rare form of follicular thyroid cancer known as Hurthle cell cancer is especially aggressive.
- Medullary Thyroid Cancer
This accounts for less than 3% of thyroid cancers, according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA). It can, and frequently does, spread to lymph nodes.
- Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
This type of cancer has a poorer prognosis and tends to become resistant to chemotherapy over time. The ATA says less than 2% of thyroid cancers fit into this category. Anaplastic thyroid cancer advances quickly and is the most aggressive thyroid cancer.
Symptoms of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma
Most commonly, Papillary Thyroid Cancers are totally asymptomatic. However, the most common symptom is a mass in the neck. Papillary Carcinoma typically arises as a solid, irregular or cystic mass that comes from otherwise normal thyroid tissue. This type of cancer has a high cure rate 10-year survival rates for all patients with papillary thyroid cancer estimated at over 90%. Cervical metastasis (spread to lymph nodes in the neck) are present in 50% of small papillary carcinomas and in more than 75% of the larger papillary thyroid carcinomas.
Nodules are growths that may be solid or filled with fluid. They’re very common and often don’t cause any trouble. But about 1 in 20 are cancer
In some cases, a person can have thyroid nodules big enough to cause other issues, including:
- Lump in your neck that you can see or fee
- Hard time swallowing (you might have pain or find that food or pills get stuck)
- Sore throat or hoarseness that doesn’t go away
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
- Trouble breathing, especially when you lie down
Thyroid Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
It’s 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 (like your age and sex) that can’t. According to the National Cancer Institute, risk factors for developing thyroid cancer include:
- Being female
- Being between the ages of 25 and 65. (The median age of papillary thyroid cancer patients is 50.)
- Asian ethnicity
- Radiation exposure. This includes having had external beam radiation to the head, neck, or chest, or exposure to a radiation event such as the one at Chernobyl, which led to an increase in children with thyroid cancer. The cancer can develop as early as five years after exposure.
- A history of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
- A family history of thyroid cancer or thyroid disease
- Having certain genetic mutations. This is especially relevant to medullary thyroid cancer, which runs strongly in families. If you have a family member with medullary thyroid cancer, there is a blood test you can take that looks for a mutation on a specific gene (called RET) that’s associated with the cancer. People who learn they have the mutation sometimes opt to undergo surgery to remove their thyroid (called a thyroidectomy) to decrease their chance of cancer. Even young children can have this surgery.
- Iodine deficiency. This is a risk factor for follicular thyroid cancer.
- Being overweight or obese. Heavier individuals have a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer than people who are not overweight, and the risk appears to increase as body mass index (BMI) goes up. Heavier patients also often present at later stages and with more aggressive tumors, according to research done by Avital Harari, MD, an endocrine surgeon at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.
Characteristics of Papillary Thyroid Cancer
It’s not clear exactly what causes thyroid cancer to develop. It’s most common in women under age 40. However, there are a number of known potential risk factors, some of which can be modified and others (like your age and sex) that can’t. According to the National Cancer Institute, risk factors for developing thyroid cancer include:
- Peak onset ages are 30 to 50 years old.
- Papillary thyroid cancer is more common in females than in males by a 3:1 ratio.
- The prognosis is directly related to tumor size. Less than 1.5 cm [1/2 inch] is a good prognosis.
- The prognosis is also directly related to age. Patients under 55 years of age do much better than patients who are over 55 years of age.
- The prognosis is directly related to gender. Women have a much better prognosis than do similarly aged men.
- This cancer accounts for 85% of thyroid cancers due to radiation exposure.
- In more than 50% of cases, it spreads to lymph nodes of the neck.
- Distant spread (to lungs, liver or bones) is uncommon.
- The overall cure rate is very high (approaching 100% for small lesions in young patients).Management of Papillary Thyroid Cancer.
You may have a higher chance of getting papillary thyroid carcinoma because of things like:
Certain genetic conditions. Diseases like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Gardner syndrome, and Cowden disease can raise your odds.
Family history. In a small number of cases, papillary thyroid carcinoma runs in the family.
Radiation therapy. If you had radiation to treat cancer for another condition when you were a child, it can raise your chances.
Gender. It’s much more common in women than men, but doctors aren’t sure why.
Who do Papillary Thyroid Cancer Surgery? or What type of surgeon perform Papillary Thyroid Cancer Surgery?
Most cancers are treated with removal of the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy), although small tumors that have not spread outside the thyroid gland may be treated by just removing the side of the thyroid containing the tumor (lobectomy). If lymph nodes are enlarged or show signs of cancer spread, they will be removed as well. Papillary Thyroid Cancer fall under Head & Neck Cancer segment and a qualified experienced ENT Surgeon is suppose to perform Papillary Thyroid Cancer surgery only.
Why to choose Mahavir ENT Hospital Papillary Thyroid Cancer Surgery?
Mahavir ENT Hospital is the biggest ENT facility in South-East Rajasthan. It is equipped with ultra advanced technology required for Papillary Thyroid Cancer Surgery. Our Chief ENT Surgeon Dr. Vineet Jain is also known as Head & Neck Cancer Surgeon. Dr. Vineet Jain has an extensive experience in Papillary Thyroid Cancer Surgeries. He performed hundreds of Papillary Thyroid Cancer Surgeries and the results are overwhelming. Dr. Vineet Jain is a talented ENT Surgeon and patients came from farby places for Papillary Thyroid Cancer Surgery from him.Dr. Vineet Jain s 17+ Years Experience.