What is thyroid cancer? Thyroid cancer is a... - Wissenschaft und Deutsch

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. To understand thyroid cancer, it helps to know about the normal structure and function of the thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is below the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) in the front part of the neck. In most people, the thyroid cannot be seen or felt. It is butterfly shaped, with 2 lobes — the right lobe and the left lobe — joined by a narrow isthmus (see first picture).

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. To understand thyroid cancer, it helps to know about the normal structure and function of the thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is below the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) in the front part of the neck. In most people, the thyroid cannot be seen or felt. It is butterfly shaped, with 2 lobes — the right lobe and the left lobe — joined by a narrow isthmus(see picture below).

The thyroid gland has 2 main types of cells:

  • Follicular cells use iodine from the blood to make thyroid hormone, which helps regulate a person’s metabolism. Having too much thyroid hormone (a condition called hyperthyroidism) can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, trouble sleeping, nervousness, hunger, weight loss, and a feeling of being too warm. Having too little hormone (called hypothyroidism) causes a person to slow down, feel tired, and gain weight. The amount of thyroid hormone released by the thyroid is regulated by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, which makes a substance called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
  • C cells (also called parafollicular cells) make calcitonin, a hormone that helps control how the body uses calcium.

Other, less common cells in the thyroid gland include immune system cells (lymphocytes) and supportive (stromal) cells.

Different cancers develop from each kind of cell. The differences are important because they affect how serious the cancer is and what type of treatment is needed.

Many types of growths and tumors can develop in the thyroid gland. Most of these are benign (non-cancerous) but others are malignant (cancerous), which means they can spread into nearby tissues and to other parts of the body.

read more about the different kinds of thyroid cancer and types of benign tumors

photo 2 from wiki commons

photo 3 source

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    Thyroid problems are a bitch. Trust me.
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