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Scientists Probe Hashimoto's and Thyroid Cancer
For many people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the frustration of having an autoimmune disorder is only compounded by the fact that their disorder could lead to the development of other diseases. Fortunately, researchers are making great progress and learning more about the mysteries of autoimmune disorders.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Patients and Thyroidectomy
Researchers investigated the use of thyroidectomy (surgery to take out the thyroid gland) as a procedure for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is sometimes referred to as HT. In a scientific probe, four hundred and seventy-four patients were studied, of which twenty-eight percent had a pre-operative physicians determination of having a thyroid cancer tumor. Among the patients studied, not one experienced loss of life or continuing surgical complications. Thirty-two percent had transient post-operative hypoglycemia and less than one percent had transient recurrent nerve palsy. And less than one percent had postoperative neck hematoma, a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissue. The examiners concluded that thyroidectomy could, in some cases, be recommended for patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
(The thyroid gland resembles the shape of a butterfly and the two wings represent the left and right thyroid lobes, which wrap around the trachea.)
Hashimoto's Patients May Face Higher Risk of Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis
An unexpected revelation of the study was that a total of fifty-three percent of the Hashimoto's patients also had thyroid cancer -- several more than the twenty-eight percent who went into the surgery with a thyroid cancer diagnosis alone. When you rule out the patients who beforehand knew that they had thyroid cancer, the predominance of thyroid cancer in the HT patients was as high as nearly thirty-six percent. According to the researchers, the definite reason as to why there is such a prominent link between HT and thyroid cancer is theorized to be an immune response. The positive point to be revealed from the study, however, is that papillary thyroid cancer in HT patients does have a more satisfactory prognosis than in patients without HT.
Despite the fact that the thyroid gland enlarges with HT' thyroiditis and invariably has swollen contours called bossilations, HT does not, in some cases, result in separate nodules or lumps in the thyroid. It is highly recommended, however, to have a thyroid lump examined, especially if the patient already has a Hashimoto's thyroiditis diagnosis so that it can be determined if the lump or nodule represents a thyroid cancer. An experienced thyroid cancer surgeon usually does this investigation by a thorough examination of the neck area to determine whether or not the thyroid lump needs further testing.
Although it is not altogether rare to develop thyroid cancer and Hashimoto's thyroiditis simultaneously, a patient can be at an increased risk for a particular type of thyroid cancer called a lymphoma, which can be treated and cured if discovered early. Therefore, no thyroid nodule should be ignored.
Scientists Probe Relationship Between Hashimoto's and Thyroid Cancer
HT is a frequent thyroid disorder. Hence the difficulty of diagnosing a coexisting thyroid cancer, its treatment remains with contention. A study was conducted in which one hundred and twenty patients who had thyroid cancer during an eleven-year period from 1976 to 1986 and documented the clinical characteristics of patients with both diagnoses. Thirteen of these patients had cancer, which is associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. And among the patients, six had a previous history of thyroiditis before the official diagnosis of thyroid cancer. The remainder of the seven patients had indications of HT on review of the thyroid specimen.
The most typical characteristics, which caused the need for surgical intervention, were the signs of a non-suppressing dominant nodule and a cold realm on thyroid scan.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT ) is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid linked with goiter and hypothyroidism. And because there exists a known association between HT and lymphomas of the thyroid, the link between HT and thyroid cancer remains unclear.
If you or a loved one is faced with the question of how to deal with a Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer, it is highly recommended that you contact a health care professional.
Consult a Professional
The ultimate resource for answers to any Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer question should be your personal health care provider. If you or a loved one has questions about Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer, schedule and appointment with your physician at your earliest convenience and ask these important questions. Check back for more thyroid health articles.
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