You may not pay much attention to your thyroid gland, it is a small butterfly-shaped gland, in your throat. This gland is essential for regulating various important functions in your body, including your metabolism, body temperature, etc.
However problems with the thyroid gland are more common than you may think. Numerous research studies have pointed out that over 30% of women are likely to develop thyroid disorders, at least once in their lifetime.
A disorder in the immune system may have an adverse effect on your thyroid gland, apart from certain lifestyle factors, such as diet and stress, which can also have a negative effect. Thyroid cancer is becoming increasingly prevalent today and is posing a great threat to your health.
It needs to be avoided at all costs, as an affected thyroid gland can even prove fatal in many cases. As the tumour in the thyroid gland begins to grow, it tends to constrict your breathing pipe.
Effective Ways to Prevent Thyroid Cancer
These are the 4 effective ways you can now prevent thyroid cancer with greater success:
1. Identifying the Symptoms
The first step in prevention of thyroid cancer is to know its common symptoms. These include:
- Weakened muscles
- Unwanted weight gain
- Sensitivity to cold
In case you experience any of these symptoms it is advisable to consult with your doctor immediately.
2. Avoid Radiation
Avoid radiation as much as you can because it is cumulative in nature. Even spurts of exposure to radiation in small quantities over a long enough time can have adverse effects on your thyroid.
Ask your doctor/dentist for proper shielding when undergoing x-ray scans, especially dental x-rays. Prefer MRI scan, instead of CT scan, whenever possible, is also an effective way to prevent the risk of developing thyroid cancer. CT scans are known to be around 500 times more powerful, radiation-wise, than conventional x-rays, hence are more harmful.
3. Reaction in Emergencies
This may not sound realistic but with the increasing number of radiation-based power sources and utilities in use today, many of us are at a risk of being involved in a nuclear emergency.
In case of a nuclear emergency, always follow the instructions given by your local authorities for avoiding the damaging effects of radiation. This situation also endangers the potable quality of drinking water and food, as it reacts with the iodine in the air and ground. Having an efficient supply of iodine tablets is one way to avoid this risk. The iodine is helpful in preventing your thyroid from ingesting the harmful radioactive iodine you may have accidentally taken in. A normal dose of iodine is effective for 24 hours.
4. Get Regular Tests
You can first observe yourself to see if you notice any abnormal lumps in the front of your neck. In case you can feel a lump, have difficulty in swallowing, or experience abnormally hoarse voice, consult your physician immediately.
Certain tests can effectively determine the presence of lumps and other abnormal growth around the neck area.
Early detection of thyroid cancer is most important for successful treatment. In an unfortunate case, where you do experience any of the above symptoms, it is highly advised to seek immediate medical help.