Cancer Diary: Thyroid Cancer Is in the News -- or at least in the Rumors -- These Days


With the rumors floating about these days, especially inside Russia, about Putin's health and a visiting oncologist, thyroid cancer is in the news. While I have no inside information (thyroid cancer? Parkinson's, growing old? all in the minds of the rumor mongers?) and therefore will not comment on Putin's state of health, I will note that Carl's Cancer Compendium recently fleshed out a fair amount of information related to thyroid cancer (which just might be helpful to people other than Putin who may be exhibiting some symptoms of one of the more treatable, if caught early, cancers).

From the site:

  • Thyroid cancer
    • Definition: A cancer that develops in the cells of thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland located just below adam’s apple in the neck. It causes difficulty swallowing hoarseness, lump on the neck, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Types include
    • Cause
      • Family history
      • Constant exposure to radiation as in case of employees working in nuclear power plants
      • Radiation treatment for cancers
      • Diet low in iodine
      • Gender: Women are at increased risk of developing thyroid cancer
    • Diagnosis
      • Thyroid function tests (TFTs): Blood tests to determine levels of thyroid hormones.
      • Ultrasound: To check the size and number of nodules, determine if it is solid or fluid-filled; Also check if any nearby lymph nodes are enlarged.
      • CT scan: To assess the spread of cancer to nearby and distant areas.
      • Thyroid biopsy: A small sample of the thyroid tissue is sent for microscopic examination.
      • Genetic test: To check for genes that increase your chances of thyroid cancer.
    • Life expectancy
    • Reduction of risk
      • Avoid exposure to radiation
      • Get genetic testing in thyroid cancer runs in the family
    • References & Research
    • Sources of Support
      • See Resources: Financial Resources & Support (near the end of this page)
    • Symptoms
      • Nodule in thyroid gland (usually presents first)
      • Hoarse voice
      • Neck pain, accompanied by ear pain in some cases
      • Trouble swallowing
      • Swollen lymph nodes in the Neck
      • Difficulty breathing or Constant wheezing
      • Frequent cough, not related to cold
      • Hot flashes
    • Treatment & Complications of Treatment
      • Chemotherapy
      • Hyperthermia
      •  Surgery
        • Can cause injury to the voice box
        • Reduced calcium levels in the body in case the parathyroid gland is accidentally removed.
      • Thyroid hormone therapy
      • Targeted drug therapy

Visit Carl's Cancer Compendium to check out other information there -- and to download a dictionary of medical terms in lay language (note: the dictionary, like the CCC, is added to regularly; it is not envisioned as a finished product but a continuing project).

Blog editor's note: As a memorial to Carl Leaver, MSI Press graphic arts director and designer, who died of Cancer of Unknown Primary August 16, 2021, and simply because it is truly needed, MSI Press is now hosting a web page, Carl's Cancer Compendium, as a one-stop starting point for all things cancer, to make it easier for those with cancer to find answers to questions that can otherwise take hours to track down on the Internet and/or from professionals. The web page is in its infancy but expected to expand into robustness. To that end, it is expanded and updated weekly. As part of this effort, each week, on Monday, this blog carries an informative, cancer-related story -- and is open to guest posts: Cancer Diary. 

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