The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck or just below your Adam's apple. Your thyroid produces hormones that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and body weight. Although cancer within the thyroid is uncommon in the U.S., the incidence seems to be increasing, perhaps because technology is allowing clinicians to detect them at a much smaller size than in the past. Most cases can be cured with treatment.
Typically, there are no signs or symptoms of early thyroid cancer. As thyroid cancer grows, it can cause a lump on your neck that can be palpated, a change in your voice such as hoarseness, difficulty swallowing with pain in your throat and in later stages swollen lymph nodes.
Risks factors include the female sex, for cancer of the thyroid arises more often in women than in men. Exposure to high levels of radiation and certain inherited genetic syndromes. Other risks are a history of goiter, being of Asian descent and being between the ages of 25 and 65.
Treatment will usually involve a complete thyroidectomy. Typically, this is done through a traditional 8-9cm incision across the neck, but at Precision Surgery, we are employing a 3-4cm incision for most thyroid resections, which translates to a 4-5 day recovery period and less pain. The smaller incision also offers cosmetics benefits which traditional surgery was unable to provide. Early detection is key for optimal outcomes.