Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors

The butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck is known as your thyroid. When the cells in your thyroid gland become abnormal, this may result in thyroid cancer....

The butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck is known as your thyroid. When the cells in your thyroid gland become abnormal, this may result in thyroid cancer.

Causes of Thyroid Cancer

The specific causes of thyroid cancer are unknown. However, all causes of cancer is genetic mutations that enable cells to grow and multiply quickly. The bulk of abnormal cells accumulates to form a tumor, and whether the tumor grows large enough, it can start to invade other nearby organs and tissue, eventually spreading throughout the whole body.

There are lots of distinct types of cells within the thyroid; thus, several types of thyroid cancer can grow. This depends on the influence of the cells.  The causes of thyroid cancer all differ, they have different risk factors, and will determine your prognosis and treatment choices. The types of thyroid cancer include:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer: 

This is the most frequent type of thyroid cancer. It starts in the follicular cells of the thyroidgland, which are responsible for generating and keeping the hormones in the thyroidgland. This type is most commonly found in adults age 30 to 50.

  • Follicular thyroid cancer: 

Additionally beginning in the follicular cells, this type thyroid cancer generally affects individuals who are older than 50. There are other, rarer forms of follicular thyroid cancer for example Hurthle cell cancer, which is considerably more aggressive.

  • Medullary thyroid cancer:

 This type of thyroid cancer starts in the C cells of the thyroid gland. C cells are the part of the thyroid which produces the hormone calcitonin. It’s not difficult to detect this type of cancer at an early stage because there’ll be elevated levels of calcitonin in the blood. Although rare, there are particular genetic syndromes that could increase your risk for developing medullary thyroid cancer.

  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer: 

This is the worst type of thyroid cancer because it develops rapidly and is quite tricky to treat. It usually occurs in adults who are 60 or older.

  • Thyroid lymphoma:

 This kind of thyroid cancer starts in the immune system cells and is quite rare.

Risk Factors for Thyroid Cancer

There are just a few aspects which were determined to put you in a greater risk for developing thyroid cancer. These include:

  • Being a girl: 

Statistically, thyroid cancer tends to occur more frequently in women than men.

  • Inheriting certain genetic syndromes:

 There are some genetic syndromes that increases your risk for developing thyroid cancer, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia, familial medullary thyroid cancer, and familial adenomatous polyposis. There are tests available that can check for the genes responsible for these inherited conditions.

  • Exposure to high levels of radiation: 

Radiation exposure increases your risk for any type of cancer. A few examples of vulnerability include being around nuclear power plants, weapons testing, or getting radiation treatment to your neck or head.