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Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid, which is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the throat area at the base of the Adam’s apple that produces special hormones that regulate the body.  Females are three times more likely to have thyroid cancer than males.

Thyroid cancer most often occurs after age thirty, although it can occur at any age. There are approximately 37,000 new cases of thyroid cancer in the US each year. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer below.

The Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer are as follows:

  • A lump or nodule in the thyroid region that can be felt through the skin
  • An enlarged lymph node in the thyroid or neck region
  • Changes to your voice, including increasing hoarseness
  • Pain in your throat and neck
  • Difficulty swallowing

The majority of patients with thyroid cancer have a nodule on their thyroid that does not actually cause symptoms. Less than 1% of thyroid nodules are malignant, which means that over 99% of thyroid nodules are benign and do not cause cancer. Over 75% of people have thyroid nodules, and the percentage increase with age. Young people typically do not have thyroid nodules, yet by the time a person reaches age 80, 90% will have at least one nodule.

The signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer can mimic other disorders of the thyroid, such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. See your doctor if you have any of the above symptoms.



Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer

A diagnosis of thyroid cancer is made through a physical exam to confirm the presence of a nodule, and an ultrasound to determine the nature of the nodule. A biopsy of the nodule will confirm if the nodule is benign or malignant. Blood tests to rule out other thyroid disorders may also be done.


Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer: A Guide for Patients
Douglas Van Nostrand
Dirty Bombshell: From Thyroid Cancer Back to Fabulous!
Lorna J. Brunelle


The Thyroid Cancer Book
M. Sara Rosenthal Ph.D
Thyroid Cancer for Beginners
Glenda Shepherd

Thyroid Cancer Resources

General Patient Resources

  • National Cancer Institute

Information about thyroid cancer treatment, clinical trials, research, and other topics from the National Cancer Institute.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/thyroid

  • Endocrine Web

Easy to understand description of papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Symptoms, diagnosis, and complete treatment options are discussed.

http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid-cancer/thyroid-cancer

  • ThyCa – Thyroid Cancer Survivor’s Network, Inc.

Contains facts about all types of thyroid cancer and their treatments. Features a support network and a low iodine cookbook.

http://www.thyca.org/

  • Onco Link

Overview of thyroid cancer and diagnosis, staging and treatment of the disease.

http://www.oncolink.org/types/article.cfm?c=20&s=65&ss=513&id=107

  • E Health Forum

Welcome to the Thyroid Cancer Forum – a health community featuring member and doctor discussions ranging from a specific symptom to related conditions, treatment options and more.

http://ehealthforum.com/health/forum195.html

  • Cancer Compass

Find the information you’re looking for at our online thyroid cancer forum. Join CancerCompass.com to ask questions about anything from treatment resources to thyroid Cancer research and more.

http://www.cancercompass.com/message-board/cancers/thyroid-cancer/1,0,119,71.htm

  • Thyroid Cancer Forum UK

Has both patients and nurses forum.

http://www.thyroid-cancer-forum-uk.org/



Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of cancer of the thyroid gland.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/thyroid-cancer/DS00492

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/thyroidcancer.html

  • Pub Med Health

Discusses causes, incidence, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, prognisis and complications.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002193/