The thyroid is a gland at the base of the throat near the trachea (windpipe). It is shaped like a butterfly, with a right lobe and a left lobe. The isthmus, a thin piece of tissue, connects the two lobes. A healthy thyroid is a little larger than a quarter. It usually cannot be felt through the skin. The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to help make several hormones. Thyroid hormones do the following: Control heart rate, body temperature, and how quickly food is changed into energy (metabolism). Control the amount of calcium in the blood.
Parathyroid cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of a parathyroid gland. The parathyroid glands are four pea-sized organs found in the neck near the thyroid gland. The parathyroid glands make parathyroid hormone (PTH or parathormone). PTH helps the body use and store calcium to keep the calcium in the blood at normal levels. A parathyroid gland may become overactive and make too much PTH, a condition called hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism can occur when a benign tumor (noncancer), called an adenoma, forms on one of the parathyroid glands, and causes it to grow and become overactive. Sometimes hyperparathyroidism can be caused by parathyroid cancer, but this is very rare. The extra PTH causes: The calcium stored in the bones to move into the blood The intestines to absorb more calcium from the food we eat This condition is called hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood). The hypercalcemia caused by hyperparathyroidism is more serious and life-threatening than parathyroid cancer itself and treating hypercalcemia is as important as treating the cancer.
The pancreas is a gland about 6 inches long that is shaped like a thin pear lying on its side. The wider end of the pancreas is called the head, the middle section is called the body, and the narrow end is called the tail. The pancreas lies between the stomach and the spine. The pancreas has two main jobs in the body: To make juices that help digest (break down) food. To make hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, that help control blood sugar levels. Both of these hormones help the body use and store the energy it gets from food.
The small intestine is part of the body’s digestive system, which also includes the esophagus, stomach, and large intestine. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The small intestine is a long tube that connects the stomach to the large intestine. It folds many times to fit inside the abdomen.
Thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid. The procedure is often used to treat thyroid cancer.
Pancreatectomy is the removal of all or portions of the pancrease. A pancreatectomy can be total or distal: Total pancreatectomy: This operation removes the whole pancreas, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine, the common bile duct, the gallbladder, the spleen, and nearby lymph nodes. Distal pancreatectomy: Surgery to remove the body and the tail of the pancreas. The spleen may also be removed if cancer has spread to the spleen. Pancreatectomy is often used to treat pancreatic cancer.
Whipple procedure is a type of surgery used to treat pancreatic cancer. The head of the pancreas, the duodenum, and distal part of the bile duct are removed. Sometimes, the lower portion of the stomach and the gallbladder are also removed. The procedure is also called pancreatoduodenectomy.
Pelvic exenteration is urgery to remove the lower colon, rectum, and bladder, and create stomata (openings) through which urine and stool are passed out of the body. In women, the cervix, vagina, ovaries, and nearby lymph nodes are also removed. In men, the prostate may be removed. The procedure is used to treat certain colorectal or genitourinary cancers.
Rectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the rectum. The rectum is part of the body’s digestive system. The digestive system takes in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The digestive system is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The colon (large bowel) is the first part of the large intestine and is about 5 feet long. Together, the rectum and anal canal make up the last part of the large intestine and are 6-8 inches long. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body).
Mastectomy is surgery to remove part or all of the breast. There are different types of mastectomy that differ in the amount of tissue and lymph nodes removed. In a mastectomy, the surgeon removes the whole breast that contains the DCIS or cancer. There are two main types of mastectomy: Total (simple) mastectomy: The surgeon removes your whole breast. Sometimes, the surgeon also takes out one or more of the lymph nodes under your arm. Modified radical mastectomy: The surgeon removes your whole breast, many of the lymph nodes under your arm, and the lining over your chest muscles. Some women will also need radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and/or targeted therapy If you have a mastectomy, you may choose to wear a prosthesis (breast-like form) in your bra or have breast reconstruction surgery. Breast-sparing surgery means the surgeon removes only the ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or cancer and some normal tissue around it. If you have cancer, the surgeon will also remove one or more lymph nodes from under your arm. Breast-sparing surgery usually keeps your breast looking much like it did before surgery. Other words for breast-sparing surgery include: Lumpectomy Partial mastectomy Breast-conserving surgery Segmental mastectomy After breast-sparing surgery, most women also receive radiation therapy. The main goal of this treatment is to keep cancer from coming back in the same breast. Some women will also need chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and/or targeted therapy.