Taking thyroid cancer
CEBU CITY – With the
increasing incidence rate of thyroid cancer in Metro Cebu, the Eduardo
J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) urged the
public to undergo early screening and prevention measures to fight the
“Thyroid cancer is
high on prognosis. It is preventable through various screening
methods, such as physical examination and ultrasound of the neck, as
well as some prevention measures, including regular exercise and
maintenance of a well-balanced diet,” Ronald delos Reyes, EJACC
program coordinator, said.
Based on EJACC’s Metro
Cebu Population-based Cancer Registry, the incidence rate of thyroid
cancer in 2003 to 2007 is high but the mortality rate is comparatively
Within this period,
about 573 cases of thyroid cancer were reported and 116 were recorded
to have died of the disease. The figures also show that 97 cases have
been attributed to persons in between the ages 15-30 while 350 cases
are persons with ages 30-60. More women than men have been affected by
this disease; in fact, 134 cases are male while 439 cases are female.
As a common type of
cancer diagnosed in men and women, thyroid cancer ranked sixth in most
common cancer cases in Metro Cebu.
According to the 2010
journal of the Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates of the Philippine
Cancer Society, the incidence rate had increased from 1980 to 2002,
with an annual change of 0.4% in males and 1.6% among females.
Thyroid cancer is the
most common cancer of women at ages 15-24 years. Among women, the
incidence rate rises at age 30 and continues to rise with increasing
age. Among men, the incidence rate begins to increase much later,
starting at 60 years old.
The thyroid is a
butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck just below the
Adam’s apple. It works like a tiny factory that uses iodine, mostly
from the diet in foods like seafood and salt, to produce thyroid
hormones that, in turn, help regulate the body’s growth and metabolism
and other functions of the body.
The most common signs
and symptoms of thyroid cancer include a lump or thyroid nodule, that
can be felt in the neck; trouble in swallowing; throat or neck pain;
swollen lymph nodes in the neck; cough; and vocal changes.
People exposed to high
levels of radiation are much more likely than others to develop
papillary or follicular thyroid cancer. Treatment with x-rays is one
significant source of radiation exposure. Between the 1920s and the
1950s, doctors used high-dose x-rays to treat children who had
enlarged tonsils, acne, and other problems affecting the head and
neck. Later, scientists found that some people who had received this
kind of treatment developed thyroid cancer.
People who are
diagnosed with this kind of cancer may undergo surgery. Common
surgeries include thyroidectory, lobectomy, and tracheostomy.
Sometimes, even the removal of the thyroid itself is needed.
“Like many other
cancers, thyroid cancer may be more easily cured with early detection.
Earlier diagnosis removes thyroid cancer at a time when they are not
likely to have spread beyond the thyroid gland,” delos Reyes said.
information about thyroid cancer, please contact EJACC at 254-6351and
look for Gina Mariquit.