Woman with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s Disease and Thyroid Cancer: What’s the Connection?

If you have been newly diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it is helpful to seek an autoimmune disease help in Boise from facilities such as RedRiver Health and Wellness Center. Any condition that affects the gland can lead to complications when it remains untreated. These include thyroid cancer.

What Are Thyroid Cancer and Hashimoto’s Disease?

Thyroid cancer affects over 53,000 people, according to the American Cancer Society. Idaho has one of the highest rates of cases. At least 100 of them will receive the diagnosis annually. Over the last few years, the total cases have tripled mainly due to the thyroid ultrasound. It is a process that helps detect tumors that might be small enough to remain undetected by touch.

This type of cancer tends to have a high survival rate and is less aggressive than the others. It does not mean that it does not cause death. About 2,000 people will die from the disease, most of whom are women.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, meanwhile, is an autoimmune disease that leads to the inflammation of the thyroid glands. These are the butterfly-shaped organs located within the neck region and are responsible for producing metabolic-related hormones. The immune cells become overactive, eventually attacking the vital organ.

The Connection Between Hashimoto’s and Thyroid CancerMan on his thyroid checkup

Like other forms of cancer, doctors cannot still pinpoint the actual causes of thyroid cancer. Studies have shown, though, a correlation between it and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

A 2013 study involving more than 2,400 patients revealed those who have Hashimoto’s have an increased risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer. It is a slow-growing disease that can start in one of the lobes of the glands. It is also the most common type of thyroid cancer. A review of over 35 similar studies showed the same association.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can also increase the chance of developing thyroid lymphoma. It is a rare disease that is also associated with thyroid cancer.

Because of thyroid lymphoma, the thyroid’s lymphocytes become cancerous. It is a sporadic disease that causes 1 to 2% of all lymphomas outside the lymph nodes and 1 to 2% of all thyroid cancers. Most of the victims are elderly, with an average age in the late 60s. The prognosis is excellent if the disease is properly diagnosed and managed.

Thyroid lymphomas usually grow over a few weeks, unlike most thyroid cancers. The disease can cause various symptoms, such as difficulty in eating, swallowing, and breathing. Victims with swollen lymph nodes or a swiftly growing mass in the throat must seek medical intervention immediately.

Most thyroid lymphomas can be treated with chemotherapy. The thyroid lymphoma shrivels after patients receive a few shots of chemotherapy. Surgery is rarely needed because chemotherapy is very effective in curing thyroid lymphoma. While the chemotherapy is being administered, doctors can use external beam radiation to shrink the lymphoma.

Besides cancer, Hashimoto’s can also make you susceptible to other types of autoimmune diseases. The sooner you can receive treatment, the faster you reduce your risks from even worse conditions.