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Don’t ignore that pain in the neck

April 28, 2019 06:05 AM


Don’t ignore that pain in the neck
Doctors cite data that reveal increase in number of thyroid cancer cases among women in the age group of 25-40; they advise early detection and treatment to deal with it;urge people to see the doctor if there is lump in the neck or pain for over 2 weeks
Ahmedabad Mirror Bureau
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Often, the best and only available way to deal with a pain in the neck is to ignore it. But that’s when it is idiomatic, not the real physical pain. If you have been suffering nagging pain or a lump in the neck, do not wait for it to cure itself, more so if you are a woman. Doctors treating thyroid cancer have revealed that the number of this type of head and neck cancer is on the rise in the state. Of the total cases of female head and neck cancer patients in Gujarat, 8% are of thoracic cancer.

What is further worrisome is that it is striking younger women. On the sidelines of a two-day Thyroid Cancer Conference starting Saturday at SG Highway in Ahmedabad, doctors said that the number of thyroid cancer cases in the age group of 25 to 40 has increased. Early detection and treatment is the key to dealing with this situation, they advised.

Lt Gen Dr Velu Nair, chief consultant, bone marrow transplant at Apollo CBCC Cancer Care on SG Highway, said, “It can be cured, but one must get a check-up done if there is a lump or small tumor in neck or pain in the neck for over two weeks. Change in voice over a week or two is also a symptom that warrants visit to the doctor.” Talking about the treatment, he said, “Ultra sound is the primary step to diagnose thyroid cancer, followed by tissue diagnosis. Radioactive iodine therapy is given for cure. The treatment lasts about two weeks in most cases. Radioiodine therapy is a nuclear medicine treatment for an overactive thyroid, a condition called hyperthyroidism, and also may be used to treat thyroid cancer.”

The conference aimed at creating awareness about early detection, identify high risk cases through molecular tests and ease apprehension and doubts in the general public regarding thyroid cancer.

According to ICMR report, the number of cases has increased10 times in 10 years in South India, majority in female patients. It was based on awareness and knowledge about symptoms.

Dr M L Laxmidhar, head and neck cancer surgeon, said, “Increase in incidences of thyroid cancer is worrisome and more so in young female population between 25 to 40 years mainly.” Quoting from the ICMR report, he said, “Available data from southern India show that there has been nearly 10 times increase in thyroid cancer cases in last 10 years. Thyroid cancer behaves vividly; it can range from being most indolent to very aggressive. The use of molecular markers helps in distinguishing between these two extremes and thus, helps in treatment accordingly.”

Doctors said that thyroid cancer can affect between 15 to 55 years of age. It is observed in older men as well. “The causes are still not specified, but radiation and genes may be responsible for the thyroid cancer,” added Laxmidhar. He added, “It is curable. Despite increased numbers, the survival rate over 10 years is 98 per cent.”

Dr Nair added, “According to latest available data, there are approximate ly 2.25 million cancer cases in India, with nearly12 lakh new cases recorded every year. Head and neck cancer forms a majority of the total cancer cases, with thyroid cancer being one of the top four types of this cancer, predominantly affecting young females. It is imperative that this cancer which is easily detectable be tackled early with effective tools of screening and molecular testing

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