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1. Cancertame Ayurvedic Formulation
2. What is Chemotherapy?
3. What is Radiotherapy?
4. Role of Ayurveda in Cancer Treatment
5. Genesis of Cancer
6. Early Detection of Cancer
7. Diet, Nutrition & Cancer
8. Tobacco Smoking & Cancer
9. Conventional Treatment of Cancer
10. Soft Tissue Sarcoma
11. Mesothelioma
12. Skin Cancer
13. Bone Cancer
14. Leukaemia
15. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL)
16. Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia (CML)
17. Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL) & Acute Non-Lymphocytic Leukaemias (ANLL)
18. Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia (AML)
19. Lymphoma
20. Multiple Myeloma
21. Breast Cancer
22. Prostate Cancer
23. Oral Cancer (Carcinoma of the Cheek, Lips & Tongue)
24. Carcinoma of the Salivary Gland
25. Carcinoma of the Paranasal Sinus
26. Carcinoma of Pharynx (Oropharynx, Nasopharynx and Hypopharynx)
27. Carcinoma of the Larynx
28. Brain & Spinal Cord Tumours
29. Primary Tumours of the Brain
30. Metastases in the Brain
31. Carcinoma of the Oesophagus
32. Thyroid Cancer
33. Bronchogenic Carcinoma (Lung Cancer)
34. Secondary Cancers of the Lung
35. Carcinoma of the Stomach
36. Liver Cancer
37. Gallbladder & Biliary Tract Cancer
38. Pancreatic Cancer
39. Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma and Nephroblastoma)
40. Urinary Tract (Transitional Cell Carcinoma) & Bladder Cancer
41. Carcinoma of Colon & Rectum
42. Primary Tumours of the Testis
43. Ovarian Cancer (Stromal, Germ Cell and Krukenberg's Tumour)
44. Carcinoma of Uterus
45. Cervix Cancer
46. Paediatric Cancers
47. AIDS Related Cancers
48. Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site (CUPS)
49. Role of Nutrition in Cancer Treatment
50. Chinese Medicine in Cancer Treatment
Thyroid Cancer


Carcinoma of the thyroid gland is more common in females (especially during the childbearing age) as compared to males. Radiotherapy received during childhood in the head and neck area is one of the major risk factors of the thyroid gland carcinoma. It is worth mentioning that during the 1920s (before the era of antibiotics), doctors used to treat infections of the throat (such as tonsillitis and adenoiditis) and ear inflammations with X-rays. The radiation therapy with X-rays was also given to infants for treating the breathing problems. The carcinogenic effect of such a radiation was noticed after two decades during the 1940s, when many cases of the thyroid gland cancer were reported and these were linked to the X-rays radiation therapy.

Carcinoma of the thyroid gland usually presents as a lump in the neck along with discomfort on swallowing. Signs and symptoms of the thyroid gland dysfunction may also be noticed.

There are four major types of the thyroid carcinoma, i.e papillary adenocarcinoma, follicular carcinoma, medullary carcinoma and anaplastic carcinoma.

  • Papillary adenocarcinoma is the most common cancer of the thyroid gland comprising about 60 per cent of the thyroid cancers. Papillary adenocarcinoma of the thyroid is a multi focal, slow growing cancer of the thyroid gland that may occur at any age. It is associated with exposure to the radiation. Papillary adenocarcinoma of the thyroid usually metastasises to the cervical lymph nodes.

  • Follicular carcinoma of the thyroid usually affects the middle-aged persons. Iodine deficiency is considered as the major causative factor of follicular carcinoma of the thyroid gland. It mostly presents as a single nodule in the thyroid. Follicular carcinoma of the thyroid usually metastasises to the lungs and the bones.

  • Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid usually affects the elderly people. It mostly presents as a solitary nodule in the thyroid. The familial type of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid usually affects both the lobes, whereas the sporadic type affects a single lobe of the thyroid. The symptoms include unexplained diarrhoea and fatigue. Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid usually metastasises to the cervical and the mediastinal lymph nodes.

  • Anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid usually occurs in the elderly people. It is a rapidly growing tumour. Anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid may cause tracheal compression leading to stridor. There may be recurrent nerve palsy leading to hoarseness of the voice. Anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid may cause paralysis of the vocal cords.

Staging of papillary and follicular types of the thyroid gland carcinoma is done as follows:

  • In stage I, the tumour is localised in one or both lobes of the thyroid.
  • In stage II, the tumour involves regional lymph nodes.
  • In stage III, the tumour invades the neck tissues. 
  • In stage IV, the tumour metastasises to other parts of the body such as the lungs and the bones. 
  • Recurrent papillary or follicular carcinoma of the thyroid is the one that reappears after an apparent recovery in response to the initial treatment.

Staging of the medullary thyroid carcinoma is done as follows:

  • In stage I, the tumour is less than 1 cm in size. 
  • In stage II, the tumour is more than 1 cm but less than 4 cm in size. 
  • In stage III, the tumour involves regional lymph nodes. 
  • In stage IV, the tumour metastasises to distant parts of the body. 
  • Recurrent medullary carcinoma of the thyroid is the one that reappears after an apparent recovery in response to the initial treatment. 

There is no established staging system for anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid. Procedures used in diagnosis & evaluation of the thyroid carcinoma include blood test, thyroid scan, FNAC and biopsy.

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