Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk is Mr Jean-Pierre Jeannon, a Consultant ENT (Ears, Throat and Nose) Surgeon at London Bridge Hospital (part of HCA UK) and Guy’s & St Thomas’s NHS Hospital. “Patients with thyroid cancer usually have normal thyroid function blood tests,” cautioned Dr Jeannon. Thus, people need to be aware of the physical manifestations of the tumour.
However, “if it persists for more than three weeks and grows worse over time”, he recommends visiting your GP to get it checked out. “It can be a sign of thyroid cancer,” he warned.
Unexplained hoarseness might also be a sign of a growing tumour, but it can also be a sign of a bacterial infection.
“If it is persistent and does not go away after three weeks, seek help from your GP,” instructed Dr Jeannon.
One more possible sign of thyroid cancer is “difficult or noisy breathing”.
Papillary Thyroid Cancer (PTC)
This is the most common type of thyroid cancer, Dr Jeannon explained, and has “the best prognosis”.
“Over 90 percent of patients with this type of cancer survive,” he revealed.
Follicular Thyroid Cancer (FTC)
This type of thyroid cancer is less common; it’s treated in the same way that PTC is addressed – by a “total thyroidectomy surgery followed by radio-iodine therapy for the more advanced cases”.
Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC)
MCT “is a rare form often associated with an inherited condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN)”.
To treat MEN, the lymph nodes and the thyroid gland are usually removed during surgery.
Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer (ATC)
ATC is “very rare” and has the “worst prognosis”, usually progressing to fatality.
“Treatment for this rare cancer is palliative chemotherapy,” said Dr Jeannon.