Is Something Off With Your Thyroid?
How to spot it: Women diagnosed with thyroid cancer are usually in their 40s or 50s. It doesn't always have noticeable warning signs, but you should see a doctor if you feel swelling or lumps in your neck or have trouble swallowing—and make sure your neck is examined at your annual physical.
To lower your risk: Lose weight. A recent study found that overweight people had a 25 percent higher risk of thyroid cancer; for those who are obese, the risk rose to 55 percent. The link is still unclear, but one possible explanation is that excess fat releases proteins that may contribute to tumor formation.
Common treatment: Removing the thyroid (some or all of it), followed by radioiodine therapy, a medication given in capsule or liquid form to destroy any remaining thyroid tissue and treat or prevent the spread of the cancer. For cases that don't respond to radioiodine therapy (5 to 15 percent of patients), a new drug called lenvatinib has been shown to shrink tumors in nearly 65 percent of progressive cases, according to one clinical trial.