What is Hurthle Cell Thyroid Cancer?
Hurthle cell thyroid cancer is a rare type of follicular cancer. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that secretes certain hormones that are responsible for regulating the metabolism, growth, and development of the human body.
It accounts for approximately 3-10% of all thyroid cancers. The mean age for the development of Hurthle cell thyroid cancer is 50-60 years. It is equally common in people of all ethnicity around the globe.
Mutation (changes in DNA) in a particular gene called the RET-proto oncogene; iodine deficiency and exposure to ionizing radiations (exposure due to the radiation therapy of head or neck or it can be occupational exposure) are factors that contribute to the development of Hurthle cell thyroid cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
The patient may present with the following signs and symptoms. These are
- A mass or lump at the base of the neck which can be felt on touching
- Some patients may suffer from difficulty in swallowing, hoarse voice, and difficulty in breathing.
- Choking spells
- Pain in neck
- The tumour can involve the nearby lymph nodes results in lymph nodes swelling and pain
The following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Thyroid Function tests (T3, T4)
- Thyroid-stimulating suppressor tests
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone tests (TSH-test)
- Anti-peroxidase antibody test
- Antithyroglobulin test
- Imaging studies such as USG (ultrasonography thyroid and neck), CT-scan, and MRI to rule out the size, site, and extent of the tumour.
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is and histopathology
Complete removal of the thyroid gland by surgery and switching to thyroid hormone replacement therapy is the main treatment option. Another treatment option is external beam radiation therapy. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are treatment options for advanced metastatic cancer.
What Support can we Give for Hurthle Cell Thyroid Cancer?
Hurthle Cell Thyroid Cancer is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Hurthle Cell Thyroid Cancer, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: