Cancer, as a word itself, has an ominous sound to it! Amongst all the cancers, thyroid cancer incidence and prevalence rates have shown an uptick not only all over the world but also in India. Thyroid cancer affects the thyroid gland which is at the base of the neck that is responsible to produce hormones. Studies done worldwide have shown a tripling of thyroid cancer incidence over 35 years. The absolute rates of thyroid cancer in women are approximately four times that of those seen in men. Most of the data supporting an increase in thyroid cancer are from high-income countries; therefore, this phenomenon is generally considered a problem of the developed world.Also Read - Will Covid-19 Pandemic Eventually Turn Into An Endemic Stage? Watch Video To Find Out

Dr. Subhash Kumar Wangnoo, Senior Consultant Endocrinologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi shares how thyroid impacts women and why women are more vulnerable than men. After breast cancer, thyroid cancer is the most common form of cancer in women between the age of 35-60 years Thyroid cancer may not initially show any symptoms but it’s a lump that grows eventually and can cause pain and swelling in the neck. Thyroid cancer and other related disorders are more common in women because hormones play a different role in men and women. The thyroid gland in women operates the metabolism. While it is important to know that lumps in the thyroid are common, but lumps that are causing pain and progressive swelling need to be checked. Also Read - 5 Easy Lifestyle Tips To Deal With Hernia

In the past decade, there are three key factors have emerged as potential risks for thyroid cancers that are intake of iodine, auto-immunity to the thyroid, and radiation from medical diagnostics. The link between thyroid cancer and radiation is well-known. Autoimmune thyroid disease has shown an associated rise along with the diagnosis of thyroid cancer over the years. Most risk factors of thyroid cancer cannot be controlled/ascertained. But genetic mutations in the family, exposure to radiation, especially as a child, are few risk factors of thyroid cancers. Also Read - 6 Healthcare Essentials for People With Diabetes During the Omicron Wave

Some key symptoms and indicating factors of thyroid cancers are:

• A lump on the neck that is painless would feel like an overgrowth (though only 1 out of 20 such lumps are cancerous)

• Glands that are swollen

• Progressively worsening hoarseness in the throat, with no specific reason

• a sore throat that does not get better

• difficulty swallowing

Surgical removal of the affected gland is the only possible way of treatment of this cancer. If detected on time, survival rates of thyroid cancer are very high. So, to put it in simple terms, thyroid cancer is on rising perhaps due to increased surveillance, access to better healthcare, and increased awareness amongst the treating doctors. Whenever there is a suspicion of the possibility of thyroid cancer, it should always be addressed by a specialist or someone with experience in treating it – it will help in proper diagnosis, avoid unnecessary investigations, at the same time saving on expenses and anxiety.