Your thyroid is a gland that’s situated in your neck. Sometimes it can become hyperactive, which results in a condition called hyperthyroidism. Other times it can become underactive, resulting in what’s known as hypothyroidism. If abnormal changes in the cells of the thyroid gland happen, then thyroid cancer may come into being.

This article will focus on the various risk factors for thyroid cancer — it will get you introduced to things that can considerably increase a person’s risk of having cancer of the said gland.

Before you proceed, it’s important to note that having one or many of the risk factors doesn’t mean right away that you will battle thyroid cancer one day. For your peace of mind, there are people who do not have thyroid cancer despite of the fact that they have lots of its risk factors. Similarly, many of those who are diagnosed with thyroid cancer did not have any of the disease’s risk factors before its presence was identified.

By the way, feel free to repost this article so that your family members and friends may also know the following risk factors for thyroid cancer:

Age

Most types of cancer affect older people, but not thyroid cancer. Approximately two-thirds of all thyroid cancer cases affect people between 20 and 55 years of age. In fact, a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer or MTC can affect infants at least 10 months old and adolescents. However, there is another kind of thyroid cancer that tends to affect people over 60 years of age, and that’s anaplastic thyroid cancer or ATC.

Gender

Health authorities say that out of every 4 people diagnosed with thyroid cancer, 3 of them are women. So in other words, thyroid cancer is more common in women than men.

Family History

Is there someone who is related to you that has (or had) thyroid cancer like a parent, sibling or cousin? If so, you are considered at risk of developing thyroid cancer one day. Just like most other types of cancer known to man, thyroid cancer tends to run in families.

Race

According to doctors, thyroid cancer can affect anyone on any place in the planet. However, statistics show that the said type of cancer is more common in white and Asian people.

Radiation

Experts confirm that exposure of the head and neck to moderate levels of radiation may increase one’s risk of having certain forms of thyroid cancer. They include papillary thyroid cancer or PTC and follicular thyroid cancer or FTC. Radiation exposure may be due to radiation therapy for dealing with lymphomas of the head and neck, such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Those who underwent x-ray treatments for various head and neck problems before 1950 are regarded as at high risk of developing thyroid cancer.

Low Iodine

There’s a nutrient that the thyroid gland needs in order for it to function optimally and stay healthy, and that’s iodine. It’s for this reason exactly why a diet that’s low in iodine can increase a person’s chance of suffering from thyroid cancer and other problems concerning the said gland.

Breast Cancer

According to a study done not too long ago, women who suffer from breast cancer may be at risk of having thyroid cancer. The said type of cancer may strike during the first 5 years after breast cancer diagnosis. Those who were diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age are also at high risk of thyroid cancer. However, these findings are still being investigated further.

If you believe that you are at high risk of suffering from thyroid cancer one day, ask your doctor about the steps that you may take to keep it at bay.

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