Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Thyroid cancer and morphology. What should be alarming in blood tests?

 There are a number of blood tests that can be used to screen for thyroid cancer, or to monitor the condition after diagnosis. Some of the most common blood tests for thyroid cancer include:

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): TSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that helps to regulate the production of thyroid hormone. In people with thyroid cancer, TSH levels may be low, high, or normal.
  • Free T4: Free T4 is a form of thyroid hormone that is not bound to protein. High levels of free T4 can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, which is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive. Low levels of free T4 can be a sign of hypothyroidism, which is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive.
  • Thyroglobulin (Tg): Tg is a protein produced by the thyroid gland. High levels of Tg can be a sign of thyroid cancer, even if the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.
  • Anti-thyroid antibodies (ATA): ATA are antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. High levels of ATA can be a sign of an autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which can increase the risk of developing thyroid cancer.

If you have any of the following symptoms, it is important to see your doctor for a blood test to check for thyroid cancer:

  • A lump in your neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Heat intolerance or sensitivity to cold
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Hair loss
  • Brittle nails
  • Muscle aches and pains

If you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, your doctor will likely order blood tests on a regular basis to monitor your condition. These blood tests can help to determine if the cancer is growing or spreading, and to assess the effectiveness of treatment.

Here are some of the most common blood test results that can be alarming in people with thyroid cancer:

  • High TSH: High TSH levels can be a sign that the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. This can happen if the thyroid gland has been damaged by cancer, or if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Low free T4: Low free T4 levels can be a sign that the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. This can happen if the thyroid gland has been damaged by cancer, or if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • High Tg: High Tg levels can be a sign that thyroid cancer is present, even if the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.
  • High ATA: High ATA levels can be a sign of an autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which can increase the risk of developing thyroid cancer.

If you have any of the above blood test results, it is important to talk to your doctor about the next steps. They may recommend additional tests, such as a biopsy, to determine if you have thyroid cancer.

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