What is Papillary Thyroid Cancer?
Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common form of thyroid cancer, accounting for nearly 75 percent of all cases throughout the world. It occurs when one or more tumors form in the thyroid glands. Thyroid cancer is a cancer that develops in the small butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck, just beneath your Adam’s apple. It mainly affects adults, but can rarely affect children as well.
What are the Symptoms of Papillary Thyroid Cancer?
Often, the tumors associated with papillary thyroid cancer do not cause any symptoms, especially at their early stages. However, over time, common symptoms associated with these tumors can develop, including:
- Swollen neck, which may cause you to feel like your throat is blocked and have difficulty breathing
- Pain in the neck, which may be persistent or intermittent
- Hoarseness of the voice
- Trouble swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Pain in the ears
- Unusual fatigue
Diagnosis and Treatment of Papillary Thyroid Cancer
If your doctor suspects papillary thyroid cancer, he or she may order a variety of tests, including a biopsy, ultrasound, CT scan, or X-ray. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatments for papillary thyroid cancer will depend on the stage and size of the tumor. Treatment for papillary thyroid cancer typically includes one, or a combination of, the following:
- Surgery: The removal of the thyroid gland, or part of it, is the most common surgery for treating papillary thyroid cancer.
- Radioactive Iodine: Radioactive iodine is used to destroy any remaining thyroid cancer cells after surgery.
- External Beam Radiation Therapy: This is used to target areas where there is a high chance of cancer coming back.
- Hormone Therapy: This is used to decrease the production of thyroid hormones, which can help reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Expected Prognosis of Papillary Thyroid Cancer
The prognosis for patients with papillary thyroid cancer is generally very good. According to the National Cancer Institute, the 5-year survival rate for this type of cancer is 94 percent. An early diagnosis and prompt treatment are key to a better prognosis and outcome.
If you have any of the symptoms associated with papillary thyroid cancer, it is important to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer and can be cured with timely treatment.
Keywords: papillary thyroid cancer, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, thyroid cancer, radioactive iodine, hormone therapy.