Scientists are tracking an increasing trend in thyroid cancer, but the reasons for this proliferation are unclear. Some studies have suggested that the rise in diagnoses is actually due to the increase in imaging scans that have led to greater detection capabilities.
Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin growing and reproducing on the thyroid gland. This gland, located in the front of the neck, is responsible for producing hormones that regulate a host of bodily functions, including metabolism.
In the past, most cases of thyroid cancer were found after a physician noticed a lump in a patient’s neck. However, there are quite a large number of cases lacking any neck abnormalities.
The exact cause of thyroid cancer is unknown, but possible factors that could be linked to the noted increase in occurrence may include the following:
• Autoimmune disorders
• Environmental triggers
• Iodine nutrition
The good news is that the trending types of thyroid cancer are actually less aggressive forms and rarely ever fatal. Thyroid cancer is not incredibly common, and when spotted early, it typically responds well to treatment.
While the exact reasons for the increasing rates of thyroid cancer are unclear and a bit controversial, the rate of death from thyroid cancer has remained stable. If any abnormal lumps are detected or a person has a history of thyroid disease in his or her family, routine check ups are a wise decision.