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The National Cancer Institute has estimated that 1,780 people will die from thyroid cancer in 2012. They have also estimated that there will be 56,460 new cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. this year. What exactly is thyroid cancer? The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is located in the neck. The thyroid gland is very important because it regulates how the body uses energy, how sensitive the body is to hormones, and how the body makes proteins. When problems arise with the thyroid gland, such as cancer, it can have several different serious effects. As with other types of cancer, thyroid cancer begins with the abnormal growth of cells. Thankfully, thyroid cancer is not a very common type of cancer and it can usually be treated if it is found in its early stages.
As to the exact causes of thyroid cancer, medical experts are still unsure as to why some people develop it. It has been shown, however, that DNA can have a bearing on these cases. If the individual has cases of thyroid cancer in their family history, they could be more at risk of developing it. Studies have also shown that people who have been exposed to high levels of radiation could have a higher chance of developing thyroid cancer. In order to catch thyroid cancer while it is in its early stages, there are several different warning signs to be on the lookout for. First of all, a lump may develop on the neck or the neck may start to swell. The neck area may also be painful and the individual may have trouble swallowing and breathing. Other victims of thyroid cancer will develop a cough or have a hoarse voice.
How can thyroid cancer be treated?
If you have begun to display any of these types of symptoms, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor will most likely perform a biopsy where a small tissue sample is taken. This does not have to be a very invasive procedure as the tissue can be removed with a needle. If the tissue taken in the biopsy is not able to be analyzed successfully, surgery may have to take place in order to definitively state whether or not the patient has cancer. If the patient does have thyroid cancer, the treatment for the cancer will differ depending on the type of cancer and how far developed it is. This type of cancer is usually able to be treated without chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Radioactive iodine is the most common way that it is treated.
If you were diagnosed with thyroid cancer, your recovery is greatly dependent on the skill of your doctor. Cancer misdiagnosis is a serious problem, whether they incorrectly assumed you were suffering from a different health complication or a different type of cancer. You could have grounds to file a medical malpractice case if you believe your doctor was negligent in how you were treated. In order to prove you were the victim of medical malpractice, you will have to show that there was a doctor-patient relationship and that the doctor’s negligent actions led to the patient’s harm.
At the Law Offices of Joseph M. Lichtenstein, PC we have over 60 years of combined experience in medical malpractice cases, including cases of cancer misdiagnosis. We are committed to providing the maximum amount of compensation for what our clients have been through and have been able to secure them millions of dollars over the years. If you would like to learn more about our team or how we could help you, please fill out our free case evaluation form or call our office today!