Mainstream medicine has reported in recent years that the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer – the most common form of thyroid malignancy – is growing at an alarming rate. In fact, the number of people diagnosed with this form of cancer, which typically arises as an irregular mass in an otherwise normal thyroid gland, has tripled over the past three decades. But a new study by Dartmouth Medical School researchers has come up with good news about this so-called “epidemic“.
First of all, the cases of papillary thyroid cancer have most likely only appeared to increase — simply because of the huge surge in the use of ultrasound tests and biopsies. And it turns out the vast majority of people with this cancer survive it just fine, even if they receive no treatment at all.
Background information included in the study, which was just published in the May issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery explains that papillary thyroid cancer is commonly found on autopsy among people who died of other causes. “Studies published as early as 1947 demonstrated it, and more recently, a report has shown that nearly every thyroid gland might be found to have a cancer if examined closely enough,” the study authors wrote. “The advent of ultrasonography and fine-needle aspiration biopsy has allowed many previously undetected cancers to be identified, changing the epidemiology of the disease. Over the past 30 years, the detected incidence of thyroid cancer has increased three-fold, the entire increase attributable to papillary thyroid cancer and 87% of the increase attributable to tumors measuring less than 2 centimeters.”
Louise Davies, M.D., of Dartmouth Medical School and Gilbert Welch, M.D., of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, investigated thyroid cancer cases and gathered data about the patients’ treatment from National Cancer Institute (NCI) registries. Then they looked for causes of death through the National Vital Statistics System.
The researchers found that out of 35,663 people with papillary thyroid cancer which had not spread to the lymph nodes or other areas at diagnosis, 440 (1.2 percent) did not undergo immediate, definitive treatment (i.e. surgery). Six years later, follow-up research showed that only six of these patients had died of their cancer. This was virtually the same rate of cancer deaths among the 35,223 individuals who did undergo treatment, which involved having part or all of their thyroids removed.
Specifically, the 20-year survival rate from cancer was 97 percent for those who did not receive treatment and 99 percent for those who did — a slight difference the Dartmouth scientists noted was not statistically significant. Bottom line: almost everyone diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer of any size confined to the thyroid survived whether they had treatment or not.
Risk factors for Thyroid Cancer
Some/possible clubbing of digits or clubbing of toes and fingers
Absence of clubbing
Thyroid Cancer can lead to
Recommendations for Thyroid Cancer
See the link between Cancer (General) and Hydrazine Sulfate.
|Weak or unproven link
|Proven definite or direct link
|May do some good
Thyroid Gland: An organ with many veins. It is at the front of the neck. It is essential to normal body growth in infancy and childhood. It releases thyroid hormones - iodine-containing compounds that increase the rate of metabolism, affect body temperature, regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate catabolism in all cells. They keep up growth hormone release, skeletal maturation, and heart rate, force, and output. They promote central nervous system growth, stimulate the making of many enzymes, and are necessary for muscle tone and vigor.
Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.
Describes a disease occurring in extensive outbreaks, or with an unusually high incidence at certain times and places.
Inhalation, or removal of fluids or gases from a cavity using suction.
Excision of tissue from a living being for diagnosis.
The study of the causes and distribution of disease in human populations.
Small, bean-shaped nodes at various points throughout the body that function to filter the lymph fluid and attempt to destroy the microorganisms and abnormal cells which collect there. The most common locations are the neck (both sides and front), armpit and groin, but also under the jaw and behind the ears. Swollen or painful lymph nodes generally result from localized or systemic infection, abscess formation, or malignancy. Other causes of enlarged lymph nodes are extremely rare. Physical examination for lymph nodes includes pressing on them to check for size, texture, warmth, tenderness and mobility. Most lymph nodes can not be felt until they become swollen, and then will only be tender when pressed or massaged. A lymph node that is painful even without touching indicates greater swelling. Lymph nodes can usually be distinguished from other growths because they generally feel small, smooth, round or oval-shaped and somewhat mobile when attempts are made to push them sideways. Because less fat covers the lymph nodes in children, they are easier to feel, even when they are not busy filtering germs or making antibodies. Children’s nodes enlarge faster, get bigger in response to an infection and stay swollen longer than an adult's.