6. Benign Thyroid Conditions
While many more malignant types of thyroid cancer exist (i.e., sarcoma, lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinoma)—many cases of thyroid cell changes cause benign, or non-cancerous thyroid conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, changes in the thyroid cells, although not cancerous, can still develop into life-altering conditions—such as hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by several conditions, including Plummer’s disease (toxic goiter), Graves’ disease (autoimmune), and thyroiditis (inflammation). While symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary depending on the level of hormone deficiency, leading to unexplained weight gain, fatigue, chills, thinning hair, and depression.
7. Hodkin’s Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas begin in the lymphocytes in white blood cells. The difference between these two lymphomas is the presence or absence of an abnormal cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell.
If this type of abnormal cell is present, the lymphoma is Hodgkin’s. If it is undetected, the lymphoma would be classified as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is the more common lymphoma. There are several tests to determine the specific type of lymphoma, but doctors are able to locate an abnormal Reed-Sternberg cell under a microscope.
8. Medullary Thyroid Cancer
Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a rare form of thyroid cancer that accounts for approximately 4% of thyroid cancer cases. MTC develops in the C cells and often spreads before it is discovered in the thyroid. There are two types of MTC – Sporadic and Familial.
According to the American Cancer Society, 8 out of 10 cases of MTC are Sporadic MTC. It generally occurs in older adults, affecting one thyroid lobe. The second type of MTC is Familial – which is inherited. This version may occur in childhood as well as early adulthood and may occur in several different areas of the thyroid lobes.