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Thyroid glands present in our body help in regulating the body temperature, heart rate and healthy metabolism by producing two hormones called thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These glands are butterfly-shaped and at the bottom of the neck, just below Adam’s apple.
These cells can become cancerous at times and cause thyroid cancer. When a cell in the gland undergoes genetic modification or mutation, leading to its multiplication and formation of abnormal tumours. These cells could be solid or could be filled with fluids. The cells lose their ability to destroy and thus, cancer occurs.
The symptoms of the disease might not be clear in the beginning but as it grows, you might feel pain and swelling in your neck.
The thyroid can affect your bodily functions to a great extent but the relief is, that it is highly curable. Once you feel uncomfortable, it is best to get checked if you are in the risk zone or not. Consult a physician for the treatment of thyroid cancer as early as possible.
The exact cause of thyroid cancer is still unknown. However, it is estimated that genetic changes or mutations cause the cancerous cells to multiply, which in turn, results in tumours. As a result, these cells also lose the ability to die, unlike other cells. These abnormal cells then invade the nearby cells and start spreading(metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Thyroid usually do not show any symptoms in the early stage. However, in the later stage thyroid cancer symptoms may include swelling and pain around the neck. Doctors usually analyse the lump growth before resorting to any remedy. When a cancer cell grows in your thyroid gland, you might feel the following -
Thyroid cancer has five stages and these stages can be further subdivided into smaller stages. Evaluating the cancer stage helps doctors in preparing a proper treatment plan. The following tables make the concept clear.
|Thyroid Cancer Stage||Condition|
|TX||It is the primary tumour stage and cannot be estimated|
|T plus zero||There is no evidence of a tumour|
|T1||The tumour is 2 cm or less in size and is limited only to the thyroid|
|T1a||The tumour is 1 cm or less in size|
|T1b||At this stage, the tumour is bigger than 1cm but smaller than 2 cm|
|T2||The tumour grows to be larger than 2 cm but smaller than 4 cm in size|
|T3||The tumour is now larger than 4 cm but is still limited to the thyroid gland|
|T4||The tumour starts spreading beyond the tumour gland|
|T4a||Now the tumour has outstretched to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, trachea, larynx, soft tissues, or oesophagus|
|T4b||The tumour has become fatal and extended beyond the T4a region|
Thyroid cancer can be classified into five types based on the type of cells found in the tumour. Determining the type of thyroid cancer helps in further treatment. Different types of thyroid cancer are-
The cause of thyroid cancer is yet to be discovered, therefore, there is no preventive measure that can be suggested against the disease.
Children and adults with inherited gene mutation are prone to the risk of medullary thyroid cancer. Thyroid surgery could be a way to prevent cancer. Talk to a genetic counsellor to know about the risk of cancer and treatment.
Medication of potassium iodide is provided to people who live near nuclear power plants. It is also used to treat nuclear power plant accidents. If you live within the vicinity of a nuclear power plant, contact your state or the local emergency management department and issue your concern.
|Name of the Plan||Best Features|
|Aditya Birla Activ Cancer Secure Plan||
|HDFC Life Cancer Care||
|Care Comprehensive Cancer Health Insurance||
Having health insurance for thyroid cancer is beneficial in many ways-
Following features are generally included in a health insurance policy for thyroid cancer, however, it is always advised to check the policy papers for confirmation.
The following conditions are not covered under thyroid cancer policy plans:
Warning signs of thyroid cancer include a lump around the neck, pain in swallowing and breathing, pain around the neck sometimes going up to the ears, hoarseness of voice, and even losing voice.
Thyroid cancer can be fatal however, it is highly curable. Disease-free patients survive and live a normal lifespan. Only 20% of cases fail in keeping up with the treatment.
People who recover from thyroid cancer can have a normal lifespan. However, patients with a persistent disease face a 60% decline in their life span. Treatment like radioiodine is safe but unsuccessful in 20% of cases.
Most thyroid cancer cases respond well to treatment and do not turn out to be fatal.
TX is the first stage of thyroid cancer. At this stage, you cannot find any evidence of the tumour.
Doctors exactly don’t know the cause and the reason for thyroid cancer is yet to be discovered.
If cancer can be cured depends highly on the stage of cancer. Most thyroid cancers are curable.
Thyroid cancer does not go away permanently and it might return to some other part of the body.
Yes, insurance policies cover thyroid cancer.
With diagnoses of thyroid cancer, most people have a minimum 5-years survival rate.
Yes, thyroid cancer can prove to be fatal. Do not overlook and get medication as early as possible. Thyroid cancer insurance helps in keeping up with the medical cost.
HDFC Ergo, Care Insurance, Star Health and Royal Sundaram Insurance are some of the best plans available for thyroid cancer.