Thyroid Cancer on rise in Kashmir, more than 75% patients are female

By Tabish Khan Srinagar ,November , 13, 2017

Srinagar: Kashmir is witnessing a surge in the rate of Thyroid cancer patients in the past few years and more than 75 percent of patients are female. According to officials at Regional Cancer Centre, Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, 100 new patients have been registered under Nuclear Medicine this year only.

“As of now there are 3100 patients of thyroid cancer registered with us, including 100 who have been registered this year only,”  Dr. Shoukat H.Khan, Head of Department: Nuclear Medicines’ at SKIMS, told

Thyroid cancer according to Shoukat comprises approximately 4 per cent of all Cancers, however, the number of new diagnosis has increased substantially in recent years.

According to officials half of those newly diagnosed are under the age 50 and more than three-quarters ie more than 75%, are female.

While the overall prognosis remains positive for the common types of thyroid cancer, especially if discovered early, some types and variants of thyroid cancer are aggressive and difficult to treat.

Thyroid cancer occurs when cells of the thyroid gland grow uncontrollably to form tumor that can invade the tissues of the neck, spread to the surrounding lymph nodes, or to the bloodstream and then to other parts of body.

Dr. Shoukat says that Thyroid cancer is common in females due to hormonal changes and auto immune disorder.

“Thyroid Cancer cases have increased because nowadays it is detected due to better medical facility and screening as compared to previous years,” Dr Shoukat said.

Prof. M. Maqbool Lone,Head of the Radiation oncology at SKIMMS said, “ Thyroid cancer has increased in rate as there is lack of  awareness about this. Even when we convey to some patients that they are suffering from Thyroid cancer ,they are unable to understand it.”

Dr. Lone says that they are having best screening facility at SKIMS by which they are able to diagnose it in early stages.

“People need to understand that Thyroid cancer can be life threating too and any negligence can cost their life,” Lone  said while urging people that ‘if they ever find swelling in neck or lump in neck: immediately consult doctor’.

Thyroid cancer are of different types, it can be Papillary, Follicular, Anaplastic and Medullary, and according to Dr.Shaukat, in Kashmir: Papillary and Anaplastic are common.

“Anaplastic is life threatening as in this case tumor grows on fast speed and spreads to other organs,” Dr Shaukat added.

Naseema Akhter, 58, resident of Ganderbal, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016.

Naseema accidently came to know about her disease, a year ago when she went to Doctor for her routine checkup. Her physician felt a tiny lump on her thyroid.

“Doctor told me nodules are common and happen with age but recommended me to go for ultra sound.”

After Naseema went for ultra sound three suspicious nodules were found, which were removed. After biopsy of nodules Naseema was detected with papillary thyroid cancer.

“I am on proper medication from last year. Thanks to almighty it was detected at early stage,” she said.


Initially, common symptom is a painless swelling in the neck, however in advance cases patient may have difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in speech and other multiple swelling on the neck.

The heredity factor:

 Dr. Shoukat says: “One rare type of thyroid cancer, called as medullary thyroid cancer(MTC), runs in families. A genetic test can tell you if you have greater chance of getting MTC. People who have thyroid cancer in their family may attain an increase in risk of certain type of Thyroid cancer.”

All Thyroid diseases are not Thyroid Cancers, there are other disease of thyroid which are results of over or under function of thyroid, called as Hyper and Hypo thyrodism.

“If these functional diseases are not treated in time they may affect other organs and sometimes lead to infertility among women,” Says Dr. Shoukat.

“Thyroid Cancer is not something new, only difference was that it was not detected during those days. But now there is possibility of detecting any genetic abnormality (any cancer) much early, sometimes when the child is in mothers uterus,” Says Dr. Shaukat.