What Is the Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer referring to the cancerization of thyroid tissues is a
malignant tumor originated from thyroid epithelial cells. Thyroid cancer can be
mainly classified as papillary adenocarcinoma and follicular adenocarcinoma
according to their pathological characteristics.
Incidence Rate and Survival Rate of Thyroid Cancer
The incidence rate of thyroid cancer accounts for approximately 1% of all
cancers and it is more common among children and women over age of 40, besides,
its ratio of male and female is 1:2.4. Postoperative five-year survival rate for
patients with papillary adenocarcinoma can reach 90%.
Causes of Thyroid Cancer
It is not very clear the exact causes of thyroid cancer, but it may be
related to dietary factors (diet with high iodide or insufficient iodine),
radiation exposure history, increasing estrogen secretion, genetic factors, or
it may be developed by benign diseases of thyroid such as nodular goiter,
hyperthyroidism, thyroid adenoma, especially chronic lymphocytic
Nursing and Care After Surgery
1. Patients with thyroid cancer should be given liquid diet within 1- 2 days
after surgery so as to reduce the pain caused by swallowing.
2. Patients with thyroid cancer should be guided to lie in semireclining
position, properly protect the operative incision thus is conducive to drainage
3. Avoid strenuous cough, talking too much, and when getting up, hands should
support head, so as not to pull wound.
4. Providing a quiet and comfortable environment, in order to eliminate
agitated feeling of patients.
5. Closely observe whether there is swelling in wound.
6. If hoarseness, shortness of breath occurs, you should immediately inform
doctor to deal with it.
What kinds of supports can be obtained?
Practice proves that the clinic team services composed by multiple
disciplines like oncosurgery, oncology, pathology, imageology and anesthesia
doctors as well as professional nurses, can provide patients with most
effective, most suitable and most economic treatment plan, and also can greatly
improve the therapeutic effect of treating cancer patients.
“One station” medical system constructed by Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou
combining multiple disciplines, can perform comprehensive diagnosis and
treatment for patients under the condition of without adding patients’ burden.
Therefore, on one hand, it can provide all-round and heartfelt medical services,
and on the other hand, it improves medical efficiency and level. There are many
channels can be applied to conduct the communication between patients and
doctors, like online consultation, email, telephone conversation, and
face-to-face consultation. All these consultation services can effectively help
patients to fight the cancer. While the medical team faced by the patients
includes doctors, nurses, dietitians, interpreters and so on to meet various
demands in different level of different countries. Patients would be more
confident under the unobstructed communication environment to cooperate the
hospital to diagnose and treat the diseases.
Early detection and treatment is the key to acquire better therapeutic effect
of thyroid cancer. And as the incidence of thyroid cancer increases in past few
years, it is important to know the symptoms of thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer symptoms
Most thyroid cancer patients do not present any obvious symptoms in early
stage, but the hard and uneven lumps or nodules can be touched inside their
thyroid tissues. Some patients may not develop any lumps, instead, would have
the signs of metastases in neck, ribs and bones. It is possible for a patient to
be diagnosed thyroid cancer if he develops nodules in thyroid when below
mentioned symptoms occur.
1. Lump. Thyroid cancer, which does not present special symptoms in early
stage, is inclined to develop in children and female adults. Over 95% patients
who has a lump in front of neck should be alert, especially the ones developing
the hard tumors that are isolated, irregular and with blurred edge and poor
2. Hoarse voice. As thyroid tumor grows, it would press recurrent laryngeal
nerve constantly causing hoarse voice or bucking in drinking water in
3. Difficult breath. When a tumor develops big enough to press nerves,
trachea or esophagus, can result in difficulty in breath or swallowing, radiated
pain in ears and shoulders and so on.
4. Swelling lymph nodes. The tumor would encroach on lymph nodes of neck as
it increases and causes swelling lymph nodes in neck.
Clinical symptoms of thyroid cancer
1.Papillary adenocarcinoma of thyroid
Patients of papillary adenocarcinoma of thyroid would develop the lumps that
are painless and would increase gradually while patients may have hoarse voice
in various degrees. This kind of thyroid cancer normally is found
unintentionally by patient or doctors that its diagnosed time is later than
others. What is more, it is easily mistaken as benign lesion. Papillary
adenocarcinoma patients do not present the symptom of change in thyroid
functions, but hyperthyreosis can occur in some patients.
2. Follicular adenocarcinoma of thyroid
Majority of patients primarily have the lump of thyroid. The lump grows fast,
is with blurred edge and rough surface and movable. When it encroaches on the
tissues around thyroid and fixed down, then hoarse voice occurs in patients and
some patients may have the symptoms of metastases.
3. Medullary cancer of thyroid
The patients of this kind of thyroid cancer mainly present the symptom of
painless and hard nodules in first consultation with a doctor, besides that,
they also have the symptom of local swelling lymph nodes.
4. Undifferentiated cancer of thyroid
1) No thyromegaly is found before onset in a large number of patients with
this kind of thyroid cancer, and the progressive lump develops in the neck is
hard and will grow rapidly.
2) Thyromegaly, which may accompany distant metastases. 3) A patient has been
suffered from thyroid tumor for years and the tumor increases suddenly and
rapidly and becomes hard.
Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou reminds you that, as the symptoms of thyroid
cancer is not obvious, once above mentioned symptoms occur, a patient should go
to hospital for examination and treatments.
Normally, thyroids are thin, soft, invisible and impalpable. Once swelling
and lump develop in thyroid, where is right as collar high (in the median space
of neck and under adam's apple), there would be some protruding signs.
Clinically, there are many examinations for thyroid cancer. Below are the
main examinations of thyroid cancer and hope that it is helpful to some
Examination of thyroid cancer
1. X-ray examination is mainly applied to observe the relationship between
trachea and thyroid. A thyroid cancer patient in late stage may develop
infiltration in trachea wall that tracheostenosis occurs.
2. Ultrasound examination not only can detect the shape, size and quantity of
thyroid tumor, but also can confirm if the thyroid tumor is cystic or solid.
3. Cytological examination. Exploration is impossible applied to each case as
thyroid nodules are common. Currently, most hospitals would use needle biopsy to
have cytological examination.
4. Radionuclide examination can confirm the shape, location and functions of
thyroid, and it has become the routine examination for thyroid diseases.
5. CT examination can clearly indicate the shape, size of thyroid and the
relationship between throat, trachea and esophagus. Apart from that, it can also
find the infiltration range.
Self examination for thyroid cancer
1. Note the shape of the swelling thyroid. The shapes of swelling thyroid can
divide to 2 kinds. One is butterfly pattern, which is mostly occurring in
patients of local thyroid swelling, thyroiditis or hyperthyroidism. The other is
a round lump developing in part of thyroid and is tending to develop in patients
of thyroid cyst, thyroid adenoma and thyroid cancer.
2. The size of lump. If the lump appears as diffuse or multiple nodular
swelling, then it mostly can be a local thyroid swelling. Generally, the
diameter of a single nodule of benign tumor or cyst would be around 2 cm. But it
is suspected to thyroid cancer when the diameter of a nodule is over 2 cm.
3. The smoothness and hardness of the lump. Touch the surface of lump with
thumb and index finger. If the surface is generally smooth, then it tends to be
local swelling thyroid. To the lump with rough surface, it possibly is
thyroiditis. If only a single nodule is swelling and come with general smooth
surface, that may be adenoma. A single swelling nodule with rough surface and
solid feeling is doubted of thyroid cancer.
4. The growth speed of lump. Local thyroid lump grows slow that the
pathogenesis can be few or even several decades. But for a benign tumor or cyst,
the pathogenesis ranges from months to several years. Thyroid cancer increases
with a high speed and its size can obviously increase in one or two months.
5. Any lymph nodes can be touched around the lump. If hard lymph nodes are
palpable around thyroids, a patient is highly suspected of taking thyroid cancer
with local lymph node metastases.
Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou reminds you that, early detection and
treatments are the key to a good prognosis. If you have any discomforts, please
go to local regular hospital for examination.
Traditionally, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and 125I seed
implantation, interventional therapy, etc. are applied to thyroid cancer. But
nowadays, as medical technologies developing, cancer treatment has developed to
an integrated treatment of multiple therapies from the mode of traditional
one-treatment. The integrated treatment of multiple therapies can be seen
especially in the combination of traditional Chinese medicine and western
Surgery is the first choice in treating thyroid cancer. It generally divides
to total thyroidectomy, subtotal thyroidectomy and thyroid ablation etc. Surgery
normally is hard to remove all the thyroid tissues, some lesions may exist in
remaining thyroid tissues, which may become hidden danger of recurrence.
Chemotherapy is mainly used as postoperative adjunctive therapy for the
poorly differentiated or undifferentiated thyroid cancer. Apart from that, it
can be the palliative therapy for the thyroid cancer patients in late stage,
whose condition aggravates rapidly. However, its clinical therapeutic effect is
poor and its toxic side effect is high that, it usually combines with
traditional Chinese medicine to reduce the side effects to improve the
3. Endocrine therapy
Thyroxine can constrain the secretion of TSH that it can inhibit hyperplasia
of thyroid tissues and differentiated cancer. Besides, it gets better
therapeutic effect on papillary and follicular adenocarcinoma. Therefore, the
patients with the thyroid cancers mentioned above should have thyroxine
preparation after surgery, which would have certain effect to prevent cancer
recurrence and metastases. But this method doesn’t work on undifferentiated
As one of adjunctive therapies for thyroid cancer, radiotherapy can divide to
internal radiation and external radiation according to different pathological
categories, and is applicable before or after surgery or cooperates with
traditional Chinese medicine. Each type of thyroid cancer gets different
sensitivities to radiation. External radiation works well in short term on
undifferentiated cancer to reduce the size of primary tumor obviously and
relieve pressure symptoms and pain effectively. Differentiated adenocarcinoma
has poor sensitivity to radiation that radiotherapy normally would not use as
adjunctive therapies before or after surgery.
Combination of TCM & Western Medicine
5. Combination of traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine can be performed through the whole thyroid
cancer treatment. It is also applicable to reduce the recurrence after surgery
or to the patients who are inoperable or the recurrent after surgery. Besides
that, it is also available to the symptoms causing from surgery, radiotherapy,
chemotherapy and other treatments like physical weakness, fatigue and so on.
6. 125I Seed Implantation
125I Seed Implantation is an important therapeutic method for thyroid cancer
patients, especially for cancer transference. It targets the tumor precisely and
will not hurt the surrounding normal tissue.
7. Interventional Therapy
Interventional therapy is a safe and effective thyroid treatment. It applies
the principle of targeted therapy. That is to say, the drugs directly are
injected to the tumor with high drug-concentration. The drugs diffuse to the
tumor soon and take effect so that tumor loses its activity and shrinks, which
bring the same therapeutic effect as surgery does.
As experts from Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou introduce, choosing thyroid
cancer treatment should according to the comprehensive factors of a patient,
such as stage, physical condition, tolerance and case history etc.