Thyroid Cancer


Discover how Dr. Tjoa can develop a thorough treatment plan for thyroid cancer.

Abnormal growths in the throat, tonsils, or larynx (voice box) are collectively referred to as throat cancer. This type of cancer may also affect tonsils, vocal cords, cartilage covering the windpipe (epiglottis), thyroid glands, and other structures within this area.

Most types of throat cancer develop in the cells that line the throat from where it starts, just behind the nose, to where it extends into the neck.


Possible Causes of Thyroid Cancer

Researchers know that thyroid cancer arises when DNA in this part of the body is genetically altered. Moreover, they suspect that frequent exposure to radiation also raises a person’s risk of developing this type of cancer. In particular, people who undergo repeated dental x-rays as adults statistically are at a higher risk of suffering thyroid cancer at some point in their lives.

Other than exposure to radiation and changes in the DNA, scientists and doctors suspect that family history and genetics play a role in the formation of this illness. They also know that women tend to suffer thyroid cancer more often than men.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

While they are not for sure what causes thyroid cancer, doctors are confident about its symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms that thyroid cancer sufferers develop include:

  • Frequent hoarseness
  • Drastic changes in the voice
  • A lump in the neck that can be felt through the skin
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in the throat and neck
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Treatment for Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer patients can expect to undergo any number of treatments for their illness. Depending on their severity and symptoms, they may receive radiation and chemotherapy treatments. However, they also may undergo surgery to remove the cancer from this part of their body.

Surgery for thyroid cancer is called thyroidectomy. It is an invasive surgery that is done under general anesthesia. Traditional forms of the surgery involve three to five inch incisions being made on both sides of the lower neck to remove the cancerous lymph nodes and thyroid lobes.

However, it is more common today for patients to undergo robotic or endoscopic thyroidectomies. These operations involve the use of an endoscope to remove the cancerous growths. The doctor makes incisions that are less than an inch long through which to insert the scope. The use of the endoscope minimizes complications like scarring, bleeding, and damage to the vocal cords. It is also easier from which to recover.