The thyroid gland produces chemicals that regulate how the body uses energy. Thyroid cancer develops in the tissue of the thyroid gland. It is not very common. Death from thyroid cancer is unusual, especially in young people. Thyroid cancer is found twice as often in women.
There are several types of thyroid cancer.
Papillary is the most common and has the best outlook for cure.
Follicular is less common but is also easy to treat.
Medulary is uncommon and is more difficult to treat.
Anaplastic is the least common and difficult to treat.
What is going on in the body?
The thyroid gland continues to function normally even when the cancer has taken up part of the thyroid. The cancer may spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body. Those parts may show damage from the cancer.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
In most cases, the cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. The risk is increased if the neck is exposed to radiation from any source. This happens very rarely. Some families tend to develop thyroid and other cancers. This is also rare. Countries where the iodine content in the food supply is either low or high also show increased risk for thyroid cancer.