Each year, approximately 1500 people in the UK are diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It is a rare type of cancer and most commonly affects young adults. Thyroid cancer is more common in women. It is very rare in children.
The thyroid is a small gland in the front of the neck just below the voice box (larynx), and is made up of two parts, or lobes. It is one of a network of glands throughout the body that make up the endocrine system. This system is responsible for producing the body’s hormones that help to control and influence various functions.
The thyroid is sometimes known as the ‘activity’ gland because it produces the hormone thyroxine which is needed to keep the body functioning at its normal rate. In order to produce the thyroxine the thyroid gland needs a regular supply of iodine in the diet (which is mainly found in fish, seafood and dairy products).