Posted July 11, 2013
Medical professionals are reporting increased incidences of adults and children diagnosed with thyroid problems, including cancer and disease.
Thyroid cancer trends
A historically uncommon type of cancer is becoming a significant concern. Thyroid cancer affects both men and women, but for unknown reasons it occurs about three times more often in women than in men, reports the American Cancer Society. While thyroid cancer isn’t relegated to a specific age or lifespan, women often are diagnosed with the disease between the ages of 40 to 60, and men in their 60s and 70s.
Although pediatric thyroid cancer occurs less frequently in children under age 10, it is more common in teens between the ages of 15 and 19. In recent years, doctors have noted a slight increase in female teens diagnosed with the disease.
Understanding the thyroid gland
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland with two lobes that fit underneath the thyroid cartilage, commonly known as the Adam’s apple, located in the front middle of the neck. According to WebMD, the thyroid produces hormones that affect physical growth and development, metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, weight and body temperature.
Genetic mutation may boost death risk
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year. Recently medical researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine identified a genetic mutation that when present in people diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer may contribute to an increased risk of death. Although there are several types of thyroid cancer, papillary cancer is the most common, accounting for about 80 percent of the diagnoses, usually in people between the ages of 30 and 50.
Learn more about oral, head and neck cancer and associated risk factors by reading this ameritasinsight blog, “On a Quest to Reduce Oral, Head and Neck Cancer.”
Type 1 diabetes linked to thyroid disease
According to research reports provided by WebMD, people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop an autoimmune thyroid condition, usually in the form of an underactive or overactive thyroid. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is used by the body to break down carbohydrates. When insulin levels are low, blood sugar levels tend to spike, creating serious health problems or possibly death.
Children with thyroid disease
Medical professionals also have noted that more children are being diagnosed with thyroid disease. Learn more about this concerning trend by reading a report from NBC2 News in Florida.
Symptoms of thyroid disease
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid may include decreased energy, weight gain, dry skin, constipation, concentration problems, feeling cold, hair loss or low energy levels.
An overactive thyroid may be evidenced by heat intolerance, frequent bowel movements, excessive sweating, increased appetite, unexpected weight loss, nervousness and a visible lump in the throat or problems concentrating.
Learn more about thyroid disease by reading information provided by MedlinePlus.