Treatment For Thyroid Disease
The many different complications that can result from an impaired or non-functioning thyroid gland may require medical solutions that can include treatment for thyroid cancer depending on the condition. Located below the Adam’s apple, the gland is in the shape of a butterfly and features two lobes. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system in a person’s body and the main function is to regulate metabolism. In addition, the thyroid also manages how the body responds to hormones and produces proteins. To accomplish these tasks, the thyroid manufactures a number of hormones to regulate how the body functions. The most common of these hormones are thyroxine, T4, and triiodothyronine, T3, and the majority of dysfunctions in the gland will require treatment of thyroid hormone levels. To make these hormones, the thyroid uses spherical follicles to absorb the iodine present in the blood stream, accumulating 25% of the iodine in a person’s body. Because of these high levels, iodine thyroid treatments have been used to combat the various thyroid problems.
There are two main problems commonly found in the thyroid gland: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. In the case of the former, the gland produces too many hormones and for the latter, not enough hormones are created. These conditions can be the root problem for a patient or may be symptoms of another condition. Some common issues that may be the cause or result of hyperthyroidism are Graves’ disease, toxic nodules, hashitoxicosis, toxic multinodular goiter, excessive iodine levels, or certain medications. Some examples of hypothyroidism problems include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, postpartum thyroiditis, acute or silent thyroiditis, and thyroid hormone resistance. Additionally, cancer of the thyroid can be developed. This condition usually takes one of four forms of malignant tumors: papillary, medullary, anaplastic, or follicular. Thankfully, treatment for thyroid cancer is relatively simple.
Cancer of the thyroid is much different than cancer involving other parts of the body due to the nature of thyroid cells. For this reason, a different thyroid cancer treatment is often used. In most cases the entire thyroid is removed and a series of radioactive iodine thyroid treatments will follow. As only thyroid cells can absorb iodine, both healthy and damaged remaining thyroid cells absorb the radioactive iodine and are killed. After this process a patient will need to take thyroid hormone medication as the body cannot exist without these essential hormones. Unlike many radioactive cancer treatment procedures, treatment of thyroid tumors does not have the negative side effects of sickness, nausea, hair loss, pain, or diarrhea. This aspect should be a welcome relief for patients who have thyroid cancer.
As the majority of thyroid cancers are of the papillary type, prognosis for treatment of thyroid cancer is very good with extremely high rates of success. However, the rare cases of anaplastic tumors generally result in fatality as the cancer has often spread to other parts of the body and thyroid cancer treatment does not cure the problem. For conditions other than those involving cancer, most patients find that can lead a normal life by using supplemental hormones to balance the body’s levels. Treatment for thyroid cancer is one of the easiest type of cancers for both doctors and patients to deal with.