THYROID CANCER is a disease in which malignant cells are found in tissues of the thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped in your neck, at the base of your throat near your trachea (windpipe). It has two lobes, a left and right. A healthy thyroid is a bit larger than a quarter. It usually cannot be felt through the skin.
The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to help make several hormones. These hormones control heart rate, body temperature, and how quickly food is changed into energy (metabolism). They also control the amount of calcium in your blood.
Anyone can get cancer of the thyroid gland. But these factors increase your risk:
- Being between age 25 and 65
- Being female
- Being Asian
- Family history of thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, or goiter
- Having had radiation exposure to the head or neck as a child