Kalu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that thyroid cancer developed when cells genetically mutated or changed.
He said that the abnormal cells begin multiplying in your thyroid and, once there were enough of them, they form a tumor.
Kalu said that, if it is caught early, thyroid cancer was one of the most treatable forms of cancer.
According to him, there are four types of thyroid cancer which included: papillary, follicular, medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancer.
He explained that anaplastic thyroid cancer could be the most severe type because it’s the most advanced and aggressive. It’s also the hardest to treat. But it’s also rare.
“If you have thyroid cancer, you probably didn’t notice any signs of it in the early stages. That’s because there are very few symptoms in the beginning.
“But as it grows, you begin to notice the following: neck, throat pain, swollen lymph nodes or enlarged thyroid gland, lump in your neck, difficulty swallowing, vocal changes, hoarsenes, cough,” he said.
Kalu said that there was no clear reason why most people get thyroid cancer but there were certain things that could raise the odds of getting it.
“Some conditions, including cancer, come from the DNA you get from your parents. In eight out of 10 cases of medullary thyroid cancer, for example, the cancer is a result of an abnormal gene you inherited.
“If your head or neck is exposed to radiation as a child, or if you have too many X-rays, for example, you may have a higher chance of getting it.’’
According to Kalu, thyroid cancer is more common in women than men.
“Women tend to get thyroid cancer in their 40s and 50s, while men who get it were usually in their 60s or 70s,’’ the expert said.
He added that follicular thyroid cancer mostly happens to people who were over 50 while anaplastic thyroid cancer usually happens after 60.
“You can still get thyroid cancer if you are younger, papillary thyroid cancer, for example, happens most often in people between ages 30 and 50.
“Thyroid cancer is usually very treatable, even if you have a more advanced stage of it. That is because there are effective treatments that give you a great chance for a full recovery and surgery, when it’s needed, can sometimes cure it,” Kalu said.