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Thyroid cancer
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Thyroid cancer

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CANCER

Head or Neck

 

Risk factors

Although the exact cause of many cases of thyroid cancer isn't known, certain factors increase your risk:

  • Exposure to radiation. This includes radiation you may have received as a treatment for acne or other childhood diseases as well as radiation from nuclear fallout. If you're concerned about possible radiation exposure, talk to your doctor.

  • Family history. Having a parent with MEN 2A, MEN 2B, or familial medullary cancer means you have a 50 percent chance of having the genetic mutation that causes these diseases. If you have one of these types of cancer yourself, your children also have a 50 percent chance of developing cancer. Your doctor or a genetic counselor can give you more information and answer any questions you may have regarding genetic screening and treatment.

  • Certain inherited conditions. Your risk of papillary thyroid cancer increases if you have Gardner's syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis — genetic disorders in which large numbers of precancerous polyps develop throughout your colon and upper intestine. Untreated, Gardner's syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis usually lead to colon cancer. Having Cowden disease, a rare, inherited disorder that causes lesions on your face, hands and feet, and inside your mouth, also increases your risk of developing thyroid cancer.

  • Sex. For reasons that aren't clear, women are two to three times as likely as men to develop thyroid cancer.

  • Reproductive history. Women whose last pregnancy occurs at age 30 or later appear to be at higher risk of thyroid cancer than are women who have children earlier in life.

  • Age. Papillary and follicular thyroid cancers can develop at any age but become more common in young adulthood. Sporadic medullary thyroid cancer usually occurs in adults, but MEN 2 and familial medullary cancer can also affect children and infants.

When to seek medical advice

See your doctor if you develop any of the symptoms of thyroid cancer, including a lump in your neck near your Adam's apple, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing or breathing. And don't hesitate to talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk of thyroid problems or are worried about radiation treatments you received in childhood.

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:26 AM