What is the Papillary Cancer of the Thyroid?Papillary Thyroid Cancer or Papillary Carcinoma (Thyroid) has a hard, cystic, or nodular appearance and can develop from radiation exposure. Less commonly, it invades the local area of the thyroid gland but often spreads to other parts or organs of the body. The prognosis (the likely course of the disease) is better in younger patients with papillary thyroid cancer than in patients over 45. 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.
Disease EpidemiologyThyroid cancer accounts for approximately 1.5% of all cancers in adults and 3% of all cancers in children. It is the 5th most prevalent cancer in women. It is treatable and the prognosis is good. The 10-year survival rate exceeds 90% and 100% in very young patients. It is more common in people of white ethnicity than in blacks. Papillary thyroid cancer is about 3 times more common in women than in men. It can occur in people of any age but is more common after age 45.
Disease Etiology (Causes)Exposure to ionizing radiations and iodine deficiency are significant contributors to developing papillary thyroid cancer.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may observe the following signs and symptoms. These are
- A palpable (felt able) thyroid mass or nodule at the neck
- This mass or nodule is usually symptoms free
- In a few patients, it can cause a persistent dry cough, difficulty in swallowing, and pain.
- In 10-15% of cases, it can spread to the lungs and bones.
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Thyroid function tests (T3, T4)
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone suppression test
- Ultrasonography of the thyroid
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy test (FNAB)