The increasing cases of Thyroid related illness is posing big threat to human lives as the disease has so far affected a large number of people worldwide.

Thyroid disorders particularly thyroid cancer, thyroid under-activity and thyroid over-activity have become common among the people in general and women in particular, said  Director NIMRA Dr. Naeem Leghari,  while talking to APP here on Monday.

He said that thyroid is an important gland on front of neck which controls and affects all the basic body functions including physical and mental growth, metabolism, reproduction and digestion.

Thyroid diseases in Pakistan are a much-overlooked entity due to lack of Public awareness, vague symptomatology and iodine deficiency, he said.

He said that clinical research plays a pivotal role in medical field, ensuring proper treatment to patients. Around the world and in India, thyroid diseases are considered to be one of the most common endocrine disorders, he added.

Estimates indicate that 42 million in the world suffer from some form of thyroid disease, he said and added that some thyroid diseases could be easy to diagnose because even a minor swelling may be visible.

However, thyroid cancer may not be suspected by many at an initial stage.

Among several types of thyroid cancers, he informed that the most common is papillary thyroid cancer, accounting for 80 percent of cases and usually affecting women of childbearing age. The least dangerous type of thyroid cancer with the highest survival rate, it spreads slowly, he added.

He said that thyroid cancer cases across the world have been rising evidence indicates this could be more due to improved detection rates rather than an actual increase in disease occurrence.

He said that some common symptoms of thyroid cancer included the difficulty or pain while swallowing food and talking, breathing difficulty, pain in the throat, presence of a nodule or lump near the thyroid gland, hoarseness or change in voice.

He informed that as the exact causes of thyroid cancers are still unclear and these could occur at any age, researchers believe genetic causes play a major role in triggering thyroid cancers in individuals.

The patients who received radiation therapy, particularly as children, are at higher risk of developing such cancers, he said.

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