The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that produces hormones used to regulate your body’s metabolism. Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells multiply in the thyroid gland.
Fortunately, patients with thyroid cancer frequently do well because it is usually detected early and responds well to treatment. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you experience any symptoms of the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
There are several signs that might indicate thyroid cancer. These include a lump or swelling in the neck; neck, throat or ear pain; difficulty swallowing and/or breathing; hoarseness; chronic cough; swollen lymph nodes and wheezing. These don’t necessarily indicate the presence of thyroid cancer, but a physician should investigate to be on the safe side. Your physician can do a routine neck check to look for the signs of thyroid cancer. If they find anything suspicious, they then may then perform a biopsy in order to diagnose or rule out cancer.
Women are at a higher risk for developing thyroid cancer than men. Other risk factors include exposure to high levels of radiation and genetics – especially having family members who have experienced thyroid disease or cancer.
Thyroid Cancer Treatments
Treatment for thyroid cancer depends on the type and stage of your cancer, your age and your overall health. Surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland or the lymph nodes in the neck is the most common form of treatment. Patients may also receive radioactive iodine treatment to destroy remaining cancerous tissue. Thyroid-stimulating hormone suppression therapy is used to reduce the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone in your body, which can prevent future growth of cancerous cells. More advanced thyroid cancers may be treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please call (916) 736-3399 to schedule an appointment.