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All about thyroid cancer types of thyroid cancer causes of thyroid cancer thyroid cancer symptoms risk factors for thyroid cancer diagnosis of thyroid cancer treatment for thyroid cancer prevention of thyroid cancer

What're the risk factors for thyroid cancer?

Radiation. This includes radiation you may have received as a treatment for acne or other childhood diseases as well as radiation from nuclear fallout. People living in the western United States may have been exposed to radioactive material from nuclear weapons tests during the 1950s or to discharges from the Hanford nuclear facility in Washington state between

1944 and 1955. Small amounts of radiation were also released during an accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania in 1979.

Family history. Having a parent with MEN 2A, MEN 2B, or familial medullary cancer means you have a 50 percent chance of having the genetic mutation that causes these diseases. If you have one of these types of cancer yourself, your children also have a 50 percent chance of developing cancer. Your doctor or a genetic counselor can give you more information and answer any questions you may have regarding genetic screening and treatment.

Genetic conditions. About 1 in 10 people with a certain type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer carry an abnormal gene. This condition is known as MEN2 syndrome. They may pass the gene on to the next generation. A family member with this genetic defect is at an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer.

Sex. For reasons that aren't clear, women are two to three times as likely as men to develop thyroid cancer.

Reproductive history. Women whose last pregnancy occurs at age 30 or later appear to be at higher risk of thyroid cancer than are women who have children earlier in life.

Age. Papillary and follicular thyroid cancers can develop at any age but become more common in young adulthood. Sporadic medullary thyroid cancer usually occurs in adults, but MEN 2 and familial medullary cancer can also affect children and infants.

More information on thyroid cancer

What is thyroid cancer? - Thyroid cancer is a disease in which the thyroid cells become abnormal, grow uncontrollably, and form tumors.
What types of thyroid cancer are there? - There are four major types of thyroid cancer: papillary thyroid cancer, follicular thyroid cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, and anaplastic thyroid cancer.
What causes thyroid cancer? - Doctors do not know what causes most cases of thyroid cancer. Exposure to radiation during childhood is a known risk factor for thyroid cancer.
What're the symptoms of thyroid cancer? - The most common symptom of thyroid cancer is a lump, or nodule, that can be felt in the neck. Other symptoms are rare.
What're the risk factors for thyroid cancer? - Risk factors for thyroid cancer include radiation, family history, genetic conditions, sex, reproductive history.
How is thyroid cancer diagnosed? - A test known as the calcitonin test may be ordered if medullary thyroid cancer is suspected. Imaging tests identify any abnormal areas in the thyroid.
What's the treatment for thyroid cancer? - Treatment for thyroid cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage. Surgery is the most common form of treatment for thyroid cancer.
How to prevent thyroid cancer? - Because many people develop thyroid cancer without having any known risk factors for the illness, this form of cancer is hard to prevent.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005