Medullary Thyroid Cancer
By: Rachel Wood
Medullary Thyroid Cancer:
The thyroid is in the front of your neck. It is a butterfly shaped gland. It is below your thyroid cartilage and larynx. In other words, it's below your Adam's apple and your voice box. Most people who have medullary thyroid cancer don't even know it, however, there are symptoms. People with thyroid cancer may have trouble breathing or swallowing. If the tumor is big enough, the person may be able to feel or see it. 20% of thyroid cancer is caused by three syndromes known as multiple endocrine neplasias. Other people with medullary thyroid cancer get it from their genes.
If your wondering why your cancer keeps reproducing, you found the right place for the answer. Cancer cells never die, unlike regular cells that die when they become old or damaged. Cancer cells are formed when cell reproduction goes wrong. The cancer cells in your body create a mass tissue of cancer. A mass tissue can also be called a tumor or more specifically, a nodule. There are two types of nodules in medullary thyroid cancer called benign nodules and malignant nodules. Benign nodules usually don't harm your body and most of the time aren't life threatening. Benign nodules also don't metastasize, or become out of control and spread to other parts of the body. They also usually don't need to be removed. Malignant nodules, on the other hand, can be life threatening. Malignant nodules can also spread to other parts of the body. Malignant nodules may be removed and destroyed, but it is a possibility for the cancer to return.
Survival Rates and Stages:
There are different survival rates for different reasons. The survival rates may vary because of gender or for different stages of cancer you are at, so I will give you the survival rates for each stage. Stage 1 survival rates are nearly 100%, stage 2 is 98%, stage 3 is 81%, and stage 4 is 28%. These survival rates are really high. Next, I will explain each stage so that you have a full understanding of what happens in each stage. The tumor in stage 1 is two centimeters or smaller, which is really small and can be removed. Stage 1 cancer is the best stage to have for the chance of survival. Stage 2 tumors have not metastasized and remain in the thyroid or only have reached the tissues outside of the thyroid. Metastasized means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body that is not apart of the original cancer. So, if you have thyroid cancer and it spreads to your lungs, it means it has metastasized Stage 3 medullary thyroid cancer is only 2 centimeters or more and has either metastasized to the tissues that are outside of your thyroid or has only reached your lymph nodules. Stage 4 means that the cancer has metastasized outside of the tissue and has spread to different body parts near your thyroid. These survival rates are really high.
Remission is possible for most stages of cancer. Remission means that you have temporarily recovered from cancer.
You can treat your cancer through treatment options. There are many treatment options, but I will only list a few. The treatments are chemotherapy administered by an oncologist, radiation treatment inserted by a radiation oncologist or a surgeon could possibly remove the tumor. Chemotherapy will kill off the cancer cells because the medication stops the cancer cells from undergoing mitosis, which means it will stop the tumor from growing. Radiation treatment is when they use a laser beam and they shoot them at the cancer cells. The beams go through your skins. A surgical operation is available as well. To remove your tumor, you have to surgically remove it.