According to the estimates of the National Cancer Institute, over 57,000 new thyroid cancer cases are diagnosed each year in the country. Among them, papillary carcinoma is found to be one of the most common thyroid cancer types.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, and it is just below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid is referred to as the prime gland of the human body, it is responsible for the regulation of heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight.
Almost all thyroid cancer types do not showcase any signs and symptoms in the early stage of the condition. As it develops and grows, thyroid cancer is likely to exhibit the below symptoms.
The gland can develop lumps that are felt on the skin of the neck
Changes to your voice, including increasing hoarseness
Difficulty in swallowing
Pain in your neck and throat
Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
Based on the symptoms and magnitude of the disease, thyroid cancer is categorized into several types, including:
1. Papillary carcinoma
Papillary carcinoma is the most common thyroid cancer type found in the human body. Researchers have reported that more than 80% of diagnosed thyroid cancer cases belong to papillary carcinoma. Typically, papillary carcinoma is a very slow-growing and differentiated cancer. The cancerous symptoms develop from follicular cells, which slowly develops in one or both lobes of the thyroid gland. If not diagnosed and not treated on time, this thyroid cancer types can spread to the nearby lymph nodes in the neck. Papillary carcinoma is treatable with a good prognosis.
2. Follicular carcinoma
Follicular carcinoma is the second most common thyroid cancer type. Typically, one out of ten diagnosed cases falls into follicular carcinoma. Various researches have concluded that follicular carcinoma is more prevalent in the countries where dietary intake of iodine is inadequate. It is also a differentiated form of thyroid cancer. Follicular carcinoma is more aggressive than papillary carcinoma and spreads to the various other organs of the human body, such as lungs and bones etc. But, it does not spread to the nearby lymph nodes. This too can be treated with timely prognosis.
3. Hürthle cell carcinoma
This is also known as oxyphil cell carcinoma. Hürthle cell carcinoma is a subtype of follicular carcinoma which accounts for approximately 3% of all types of thyroid cancer.
4. Medullary thyroid carcinoma
Medullary thyroid carcinoma is known to develop from C cells in the thyroid gland. This thyroid cancer type is more aggressive and less differentiated than the other types of cancers described above. Medullary thyroid carcinoma accounts for approximately 4% of all thyroid cancers. It is more likely to spread to lymph nodes and other organs in comparison to the more differentiated thyroid cancers. This thyroid cancer type can be diagnosed through a blood test as it releases higher levels of calcitonin and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).
5. Anaplastic carcinoma
It is the most undifferentiated thyroid cancer type as its cells do not look or behave like typical thyroid cells. Anaplastic carcinoma spreads very quickly and aggressively to other parts of the body. It is the least common of all thyroid cancer cases.