Follicular Thyroid cancer - causes and treatment

Most cases of follicular thyroid cancer (CBC) are subclinical.


It is recommended to achieve a thorough history in order to reveal risk factors for disease development. If the patient experienced any thyroid nodule lately, a medical history analysis is necessary for proper care to determine if the patient was exposed to ionizing radiation in the past and if any of his family members was ever diagnosed with any kind of thyroid cancer.

In terms of symptoms, some patients experience persistent coughing, difficulties in breathing or swallowing. In early stage, they usually don’t feel any pain. The less common symptoms may be pain, stridor, vocal cord paralysis, laryngeal stridor, hemoptysis. At the time of diagnosis, 10-15% of patients have lung or bone metastases.

To check the size and firmness of the thyroid gland and to determine the possible presence of a nodule palpation is performed by the patient’s neck doctor. The main indicator of thyroid carcinoma is a firm and hard lump in the thyroid gland. This mass is painless. This node is fixed according to the surrounding tissue and move with the trachea during ingestion. Usually signs of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism are not seen.


The thyroid gland is particularly sensitive to the effects of ionizing radiation. Exposure to ionizing radiation results in a 30% risk of developing thyroid cancer. Also, head and neck area exposure to x-ray, especially during childhood, has been recognized as an important factor contributing to the development of thyroid carcinoma. 7% of people exposed to atomic bomb explosions in Japan have developed thyroid cancer. Patients requiring radiotherapy for treatment of various types of cancer present a greater risk to develop thyroid cancer but diagnostic X-rays do not represent a risk. Although there is a significant link between goitrous thyroid and follicular thyroid cancer, there is no information about the correlation between prolonged high level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and follicular carcinoma. Numerous studies have shown the link between iodine deficiency and the incidence of thyroid carcinoma. CTF frequency decreased in areas where iodized salt was introduced.


Treatment for this disease is usually surgery followed by radioactive iodine. If there are follicular cells cytological testing is necessary to distinguish between follicular adenoma and follicular carcinoma to avoid thyroid extraction if this is not necessarily. After surgical extraction of the thyroid, the treatment is based on radioactive iodine administration, followed by a diet with low intake of iodine. Treatment should be repeated if the annual exam it is observed that cancerous cells still exist.

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