Thyroid Gland Diseases
The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a small but powerful organ and secrets T3 and T4 hormones, which regulate metabolism. The insufficient or excessive secretion of these hormones may decrease or increase the normal metabolism rate. The decreased metabolism manifests itself with fatigue, weakness, chill, alopecia, weight gain, irregular menstruation, and difficulties in conceiving. The increased activity of the thyroid gland may lead to problems like weight loss, tachycardia, tremor in hands, sweating, irritability, muscle weakness, general weakness, and insomnia.
All thyroid diseases like the toxic disease, which emerges due to the increased secretion of thyroid hormones; hypothyroidism, which develops due to the decreased secretion of thyroid hormones and the nodular disease, which manifests itself with swellings are all called a goiter.
Patients with thyroid cancer consult a physician usually due to complaints like the emergence of swelling in the neck or sudden growth of an existing goiter, enlargement of lymph nodes and hoarseness. Thyroid cancer has a clinically more aggressive course particularly in patients younger than 20 and older than 60. There are mainly 4 types: Papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Thyroid Cancer Surgery
The treatment of choice is surgery and it may be curative. The preferred surgery method is the total thyroidectomy, during which the whole thyroid gland is removed. If the lymph nodes are also involved, lymph nodes located in the middle and sides of the neck are also resected. Recently, authors recommend the routine removal of the lymph nodes located in the midline independent of their involvement.