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Symptoms & Causes: Thyroid Cancer

Symptoms & Causes: Thyroid Cancer

2/8/19

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In 2015, thyroid cancer ranked the 5th and 17th most common cancer in females and males respectively in Hong Kong. In 2016, thyroid cancer was responsible for 50 deaths in the city. Sadly, according to the Hong Kong Cancer Registry, the rise in the number of thyroid cancer cases shows no sign of stopping.1

 

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid is a gland located at the base of the throat, below the voice box. It develops when the cells of the thyroid gland grow in an unusual way. Possible symptoms include a lump in the neck, trouble breathing or swallowing, and hoarseness in the voice.2

 

Causes of Thyroid Cancer

The exact cause of thyroid cancer is not yet known. However, some of the known risk factors include the following.2,3

  • A history of the faulty gene named RET gene in the family
  • Other thyroid conditions, e.g. an inflamed thyroid or goiter
  • Radiation exposure, e.g. radiotherapy earlier in life
  • Obesity
  • Suffer from a bowel disorder known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Suffer from a hormonal disorder known as acromegaly

The good news is most thyroid cancers are treatable, and that thyroid cancer has a high five-year survival rate of 97%.4    


 

There are currently no known preventative measures for thyroid cancer. However, we can always be well-prepared for uncertainties in life. Cigna HealthFirst Elite Medical Plan offers up to HK$38.8M comprehensive coverage, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, target therapy, gamma knife and cyberknife performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis. In times of an unfortunate life event like thyroid cancer, you and your loved ones can still be financially protected. Find out more here

    

Sources:

  1. Centre for Health Protection - Recommendations on Prevention and Screening for Thyroid CancerFor Health Professionals
  2. Cancer Council - Thyroid cancer 
  3. The NHS website - Thyroid cancer
  4. Cancer Council - Thyroid cancer

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© Cigna 2019

Information provided in this article is intended for health and fitness purposes only and is not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease (see Terms & Conditions for details). Any health-related information found in this article is available only for your interest and should not be treated as medical advice. Users should seek any medical advice from a physician, especially before self-diagnosing any ailment or embarking on any new lifestyle or exercise regime. Any information contained in this article may not be suitable, accurate, complete or reliable. Cigna accepts no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on external websites or resources, or for the security and safety of using them. "Cigna" and the "Tree of Life" logo are registered trademarks of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. in the United States and elsewhere, licensed for use. All products and services are provided by or through operating subsidiaries, and not by Cigna Corporation.


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