Thyroid Cancer-- Causes and Top 7
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Last updated October 21, 2016 (originally published November 4, 2014)

By Louise Carr,  Contributing Columnist
[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of Registered
Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of our Editorial
Board.]




Thyroid cancer risk has increased in recent years. In fact,
thyroid cancer is the fastest-increasing cancer in the United
States, according to the Thyroid Cancer Survivor’s
Association. Thyroid cancer rates have been rising at the
same time that the rates of all other cancers have been
falling, and scientists do not know exactly why.  

Thyroid cancer stalks women more than men. Women suffer
from thyroid cancer far more than men, about 2 to 3 times
more,according to a 2012 study from the University of Hawaii
Cancer Center in Honolulu.

Fortunately, we are better able to catch thyroid cancer
through the use of the thyroid ultrasound. But that doesn’t
mean you can be complacent.  Is there anything you can do
to prevent thyroid cancer? What are the causes of thyroid
cancer?

What Are the Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer attacks the cells in your thyroid, which is the
small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck.

The thyroid gland produces hormones regulating the blood
pressure, body temperature, weight, and heart rate. When
cancer occurs in the thyroid the cells mutate and form a
tumor. Thyroid cancer may cause a lump beneath the skin on
the neck, hoarseness or other vocal changes, difficulty
swallowing, neck or throat pain, or swollen lymph nodes.
However, other times thyroid cancer will produce no
symptoms at all.   

Who Gets Thyroid Cancer?

In 2014 around 63,000 people will be diagnosed with
thyroid cancer for the first time, and nearly 2,000 people will
die from the disease, according to the American Cancer
Society.

Thyroid cancer affects many more women than men ---
47,790 of the new sufferers will be women, and 15,190 men,
according to the American Cancer Society statistics.

Thyroid cancer also more commonly occurs in younger
people, which is different from other adult cancers. Two out
of three cases are in people younger than the age of 55.
Exposure to high levels of radiation is believed to increase
the risk of thyroid cancer – people who are exposed to
fallout from nuclear power accidents or weapons testing are
at greater risk, as are people who have intense radiation
treatment to the head or the neck.

But here's the good news. The death rate from thyroid
cancer remains low compared with other cancers. But
prevention is surely better than cure.

Here we look at recent scientific studies to show you the best
tips for avoiding thyroid cancer.


























1.
Avoid Multiple Dental X-Rays and Limit Thyroid Cancer Risk

Your risk of thyroid cancer increases as you increase the
number of dental x-rays you have, according to a 2010 study
from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK.

The researchers looked at patients with thyroid cancer in
Kuwait, where dental treatment is free. Incidence of thyroid
cancer in Kuwait is high, and researchers link this with a high
level of dental x-raying, claiming that x-rays should only be
undertaken when needed and not part of a general checkup.

2.
Eat Plenty of Iodine to Prevent Thyroid Cancer?

Some studies show that a diet low in iodine can cause an
increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer. In these studies,
people in areas of the world where iron deficiency is common
are more likely to suffer from the cancer.

However, other reports state that elevated incidence of
thyroid cancer is also found in areas where iodine intake is
high – for example, in a 1998 study by the Centro di
Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano, Italy and a 2006 study from
Glostrup Hospital, Denmark that demonstrated that modest
differences in iodine intake had no effect on thyroid cancer
incidence.


3.
Treat Endometriosis to Cut Thyroid Cancer Risk?

Women who suffer from endometriosis are at increased risk
of developing thyroid cancer, or either ovarian or kidney
cancer, according to 2007 research from the Karolinska
Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Scientists debate whether certain defects in the immune
system result in the growth of endometriosis and also cells in
other parts of the body.

In total, endometriosis resulted in a 33 percent greater risk
of thyroid cancer. Treating endometriosis could also cut the
incidence of cancer, researchers say.

4.
Thyroid Cancer Risk When Living Near to Nuclear Power
Plants  

Exposure to radiation is one of the proven ways in which you
increase your risk of thyroid cancer. One source of powerful
radiation is the fallout from a nuclear power plant accident.

According to a 2014 study from UC San Francisco (UCSF),
scientists have found a direct link between exposure to
radiative iodine and aggressive forms of thyroid cancer after
looking at 12,000 people who were affected by the fallout
from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

Those exposed as children or teens are at the highest risk
and should be screened regularly for cancer, scientists say. If
you live within 10 miles of a US nuclear power plant you
could be eligible to receive potassium iodide, a medication
that blocks this effect on the thyroid – get in touch with your
state emergency management department to find out.


5.
Limit Childhood CT Scans to Cut Thyroid Cancer Risk

When a child is exposed to CT scans or head and neck
radiation for cancer therapy their risk of thyroid cancer
increases for the next 58 years, according to 2010 research
from the University of Rochester Medical Center. CTs and
other radiation treatments are often useful and important
diagnostic and treatment tools, but the study shows that
multiple CT scans to the upper body and head during early
childhood are linked with this increased risk of cancer. Tests
should only be carried out if they are absolutely necessary.

6.
Don’t Live in a Volcanic Area if you Want to Avoid Thyroid
Cancer

If you live in a volcanic area you are at higher risk of thyroid
cancer, so says a 2009 study from the University of Catania
Medical School, Garibaldi-Nesima Hospital in Italy.

Researchers looked at data from residents in the volcanic
area surrounding Mount Etna, Sicily. Residents in this
province had a more than two times greater incidence of
thyroid cancer than people living elsewhere on the island.
Scientists speculate that a volcanic environment may produce
toxic compounds that increase the risk of thyroid cancer but
they are not certain why or how.

7.  
Genetic Screening and Thyroid Cancer Risk

Research shows that you are more likely to suffer from
thyroid cancer when you have a certain gene, which is
carried in some families. According to the American Cancer
Society, around one out of three medullary thyroid cancers
come from inheriting this abnormal gene. Testing positive for
this gene will give you information about the increased risk
of thyroid cancer, and some people choose to have their
thyroid removed to prevent cancer later in life.








































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Multiple dental x-rays increases
your risk for thyroid cancer.