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    Thyroid Cancer

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Thyroid Cancer is not the name you expected.

    Disorder Subdivisions

    General Discussion

    Thyroid cancer (carcinoma) is cancer affecting the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped structure located at the base of the neck. The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, the network of glands that secrete hormones that regulate the chemical processes (metabolism) that influence the body's activities as well as regulating the heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. Hormones are secreted directly into the bloodstream where they travel to various areas of the body.

    In many cases, there are no symptoms (asymptomatic) associated with thyroid cancer. Pain in the neck, hoarseness and swollen lymph nodes especially in the neck may be present in some cases. Although thyroid cancer is relatively uncommon, it is the most common form of cancer affecting the endocrine system. Most forms rarely cause pain or disability and are easily treated with surgery and follow-up therapy. However, some forms are aggressive and more difficult to treat.

    The term "cancer" refers to a group of diseases characterized by abnormal, uncontrolled cellular growth that invades surrounding tissues and may spread (metastasize) to distant bodily tissues or organs via the bloodstream, the lymphatic system, or other means. Different forms of cancer, including thyroid cancer, may be classified based upon the cell type involved, the specific nature of the malignancy, and the disease's clinical course. The four main types of thyroid cancer are papillary, follicular, medullary and anaplastic. Rare forms of thyroid cancer include thyroid teratoma, lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
    Malignant cells pass their abnormal changes on to all their "daughter" cells and typically grow and divide at an unusually rapid, uncontrolled rate that cannot be contained by the body's natural immune defenses. Eventually, such proliferation of abnormal cells may result in formation of a mass known as a tumor (neoplasm). Disease progression may be characterized by invasion of surrounding tissues, infiltration of regional lymph nodes, and spread of the malignancy via the bloodstream, the lymphatic circulation, or other means to other bodily tissues and organs.

    Resources

    American Cancer Society, Inc.
    250 Williams NW St
    Ste 6000
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    USA
    Tel: (404)320-3333
    Tel: (800)227-2345
    TDD: (866)228-4327
    Internet: http://www.cancer.org

    National Cancer Institute
    6116 Executive Blvd Suite 300
    Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
    USA
    Tel: (301)435-3848
    Tel: (800)422-6237
    TDD: (800)332-8615
    Email: cancergovstaff@mail.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.cancer.gov

    American Thyroid Association
    6066 Leesburg Pike, Suite 550
    Falls Church, VA 22041
    USA
    Tel: (703)998-8890
    Fax: (703)998-8893
    Email: thyroid@thyroid.org
    Internet: http://www.thyroid.org

    Rare Cancer Alliance
    1649 North Pacana Way
    Green Valley, AZ 85614
    USA
    Internet: http://www.rare-cancer.org

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.
    PO Box 1545
    New York, NY 10159-1545
    Fax: (630)604-6078
    Tel: (877)588-7904
    Email: thyca@thyca.org
    Internet: http://www.thyca.org

    Friends of Cancer Research
    1800 M Street NW
    Suite 1050 South
    Washington, DC 22202
    Tel: (202)944-6700
    Email: info@focr.org
    Internet: http://www.focr.org

    Cancer.Net
    American Society of Clinical Oncology
    2318 Mill Road Suite 800
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Tel: (571)483-1780
    Fax: (571)366-9537
    Tel: (888)651-3038
    Email: contactus@cancer.net
    Internet: http://www.cancer.net/

    Cancer Support Community
    1050 17th St NW Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20036
    Tel: (202)659-9709
    Fax: (202)974-7999
    Tel: (888)793-9355
    Internet: http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/

    Lance Armstrong Foundation
    2201 E. Sixth Street
    Austin, TX 78702
    Tel: (512)236-8820
    Fax: (512)236-8482
    Tel: (877)236-8820
    Email: media@livestrong.org
    Internet: http://www.livestrong.org

    Hageman Foundation
    1027 Hampshire Drive
    Maryville, TN 37801
    Tel: (865)238-5842
    Fax: (865)238-5844
    Tel: (866)612-8579
    Email: Info@HagemanFoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.HagemanFoundation.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 1/25/2013
    Copyright 2006, 2013 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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