According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 65,000 people were expected to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016. And while that number may be low compared to breast or lung cancer, it is a significant increase from three decades ago, says Sky Ridge Medical Center’s Dr. Clark Walker, an ear, nose, throat and neck surgeon, who adds that “it’s not clear if this is a real increase in numbers, or we are just much better at diagnosing it.”
At the Sky Ridge Cancer Center, our team uses the most advanced treatment and therapies available to find and treat thyroid cancer at the earliest stage possible. We will create a treatment plan that is right for you—all in a compassionate, healing environment close to your home.
What is Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer is a form of cancer that develops from the tissues of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located below the Adam's apple on the front part of the neck.
The thyroid gland produces several important hormones, such as the thyroid hormone, which is involved in controlling body temperature, weight, energy level and heart rate. The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin, which helps control how the body uses calcium.
Signs & Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
Common signs and symptoms for thyroid cancer may include:
- Swelling or lump in neck
- Neck pain
- Hoarse voice
- Noisy breathing, wheezing
- Difficulty swallowing
Risk Factors for Thyroid Cancer
How do you know if you’re likely to have thyroid cancer? Common risk factors for thyroid cancer include:
- Age - the majority of people diagnosed are over the age of 40. Most people diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer are over age 60.
- Gender - except for medullary cancer, women are about 3 times as likely as men to develop thyroid cancer.
- Family history and genetic makeup
- Exposure to radiation
- Iodine deficiency
Treatment Options for Thyroid Cancer
Our team of doctor, nurses, surgeons and healthcare professionals will work together to create a treatment plan that is individualized for you. This may include:
Choose Sky Ridge Medical Center for Thyroid Cancer care because we offer:
- Multidisciplinary, team approach to care
- Cancer Resource Center for support and education
- Cancer registry for lifetime follow up
- Infusion Services for chemotherapy treatment
- On-site Radiation Oncology services
- Weekly cancer case conference for medical teams
- Access to thyroid cancer clinical research trials
Dr. Walker in Health & Wellness
Read Colorado Health & Wellness's article in which Dr. Clark Walker discusses Thyroid Cancer, including signs, symptoms and Sky Ridge's approach.