Thyroid cancer is the most common malignant tumor in head and neck.
In the past 20 years, the incidence rate of thyroid cancer in China has been on the rise, and the incidence rate of female thyroid cancer is higher than that of male. Our neighbor, South Korea, has the highest incidence rate of female thyroid cancer in the world.
Why do people get thyroid cancer? Is there any way to prevent it?
Why do you get thyroid cancer?
The occurrence of thyroid cancer is the result of the combined action of many factors:
Thyroid cancer is closely related to family history.
If one or more of a person’s grandparents, grandparents, parents, siblings or children have thyroid cancer, the risk of thyroid cancer is higher than that of the average person.
After the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former Soviet Union leaked in 1986, and the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan leaked in 2011, the number of local thyroid cancer patients increased sharply.
This is related to ionizing radiation.
The so-called ionizing radiation refers to radiation with short wavelength, high frequency and high energy. Radiation caused by nuclear power plant leakage, nuclear weapon explosion, medical X-ray and CT examination all belong to ionizing radiation.
If the dose of ionizing radiation is very large, it can destroy the cell structure and make it cancerous.
The most vulnerable part to ionizing radiation is the thyroid gland. Because it is located in the superficial part of the neck, there is no cover or barrier.
The thyroid gland of children and adolescents is more sensitive to ionizing radiation and is more likely to develop thyroid tumors than adults.
It is worth mentioning that only when the dose of ionizing radiation is very large (such as the explosion of nuclear weapons) can cancer be caused. However, the general X-ray examination, CT examination and the treatment of hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer with radioactive iodine 131 produce very small doses of ionizing radiation and will not cause canceration.
Too much or too little iodine intake may lead to thyroid cancer.
Studies have shown that people with excessive iodine intake often suffer from thyroid cancer with lower malignant degree, such as papillary cancer. However, those with insufficient iodine intake often suffer from thyroid cancer with higher malignant degree, such as follicular cancer.
Some studies have found that estrogen itself may be a cancer promoter and is associated with the occurrence of thyroid cancer. This can also explain why women are more likely to develop thyroid cancer.
In addition, estrogen can also enhance the migration ability of thyroid cancer cells and promote thyroid cancer metastasis.
Obesity is associated with many cancers, including thyroid cancer.
The insulin level in obese people is relatively high. Excessive insulin will stimulate the proliferation and transformation of thyroid cells and promote the onset of thyroid cancer.
Bad lifestyles, such as smoking, depression or anxiety, may induce thyroid nodules.
A small number of thyroid nodules may be thyroid cancer, and benign thyroid nodules may also become thyroid cancer.
Prevention: How to Prevent Thyroid Cancer?
Once the cause of the disease is clearly understood, prevention can be targeted and taken out.
We cannot avoid the doomed genetic factors. However, there are several other causes that we can try our best to avoid:
Step 1 Stay away from ionizing radiation
(1) On nuclear radiation
Nuclear radiation from nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons is as far away as possible.
In case of nuclear power plant leakage, nuclear weapon explosion and other special circumstances, iodine can be taken under the guidance of doctors.
The thyroid [full] does not have radioactive iodine, and radioactive iodine 131 cannot enter the thyroid and destroy it.
(2) About iodine 131 therapy
Radioactive iodine 131 is often used to treat hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer.
Routine therapeutic dose of radioactive iodine 131 will not cause thyroid cancer and can be treated with confidence.
Radioactive iodine 131 has a short retention time in the body and produces a very low amount of radiation, so after receiving iodine 131 treatment, it generally does not cause radiation to the people around it.
However, within one month after treatment, close contact with children and pregnant women should be avoided as much as possible, because the thyroid gland of children and fetuses is more sensitive to radiation.
(3) About X-ray and CT examination
X-ray and CT examination once or twice a year have no effect on thyroid gland.
However, if it is necessary to continuously examine X-ray or CT for many times in a short period of time, it is recommended to wear a scarf on the thyroid gland during examination (you can ask the radiologist for it voluntarily).
This scarf is made of lead and rubber, which can prevent thyroid gland from being radiated.
Step 2: Intake iodine correctly
Iodine intake cannot be more or less. To measure the amount of iodine in the body, urine iodine can be measured.
- For normal adults, urinary iodine should be controlled at 100 ~ 199 g/L; Pregnant women and lactating women have a large demand for iodine, and urine iodine should be controlled at 150 ~ 249 g/L.
If urine iodine exceeds the standard, attention should be paid to reducing the intake of iodized salt and iodine-containing foods (especially seafood); If the urine iodine is low, you can eat more seafood appropriately.
Step 3 Avoid estrogen abuse
There are many drugs and health products containing estrogen on the market, so it is not recommended to buy and take them. In addition, cosmetics containing estrogen should be avoided.
Step 4 Weight Control
Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference are two important indicators to measure obesity. BMI = weight/height 2. Among them, weight is calculated in kilograms and height is calculated in meters.
Through reasonable diet and exercise, BMI should be controlled at 18.5 ~ 23.9 kg/m2, waist circumference of men should be controlled below 90 cm, and waist circumference of women should be controlled below 85 cm.
5. Changing bad lifestyles
- Quit smoking. Keep a happy mood and face life optimistically. For those who have severe depression and anxiety that cannot be relieved, it is recommended to see a psychologist.