Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that affects the thyroid glands. Though the exact cause of this type of cancer remains unknown, there are several factors that have been known to induce thyroid cancer. Before divulging into what these factors are, it is important to comprehend thyroid cancer and its symptoms. The primary thyroid cancer symptom is the enlargement of the thyroid gland. The enlargement of this gland is preceded by the appearance of a noodle in the gland. This noodle does not cause any pain or discomfort and is hard to detect. Therefore, during its early stages of growth, thyroid cancer is almost undetectable.
Another common thyroid cancer symptom is difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Typically, a patient will experience difficulty in breathing and swallowing as the noodle enlarges and begins to compress the windpipe. A less common thyroid cancer symptom is a hoarse voice. The hoarseness is caused by the cancer interfering with a patient’s vocal cords. Of importance is to note that thyroid cancer is difficult to detect and thus it is recommended to consult a doctor in case you detect a lump on your neck. There is a myriad of factors that can lead to these symptoms and the main ones are.
Iodine and thyroid cancer
Iodine is essential to the human body’s growth and development. Therefore, insufficient iodine in the body causes goiter, slowed nail growth and dry hair and skin. Also, iodine deficiency has been associated with thyroid cancer. This is as per scientific research conducted on the causes of thyroid cancer. According to physicians, extreme cases of goiter can lead to thyroid cancer. In fact, a high percentage of goiter patients have tested positive for thyroid cancer. Therefore, individuals who lack sufficient iodine in their bodies are more likely to suffer from thyroid cancer than those with adequate iodine.
Sex hormones and thyroid cancer
Thyroid cancer is more prevalent in women than in men. This phenomenon has been attributed to the effects of estrogen on the thyroid gland. From the research done in regards to the relationship between sex hormones and thyroid cancer, it has been concluded that hormonal anomalies in women increase the risk of thyroid cancer. However, there is significantly little research done in this area. Therefore, the relationship between sex hormones and thyroid cancer has not been conclusively established. Nevertheless, the fact that thyroid cancer is prevalent among adolescent girls and in women with abnormal menopause cycles point to there being a relation.
Radiation and thyroid cancer
Radiation exposure is probably the number one factor known to increase the development of thyroid cancer. Exposure to radiation may be as a result of residing near nuclear reactors or use of radiation based treatments. Radiation therapy used in the treatment of other types of cancer such as cancer of the breast and cancer of the lymph node have been known to increase the risk of thyroid cancer. Moreover, persons living near the Fukushima reactor and those who were affected by the Chernobyl disaster are at a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer.