Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

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Thyroid cancer is the eighth most common form of cancer diagnosed in India & the U.S. and worldwide and the incidence is rising. It’s also a little bit more frequent in women than in men.

It tends to be more aggressive in African-Americans than the rest of the population, it also tends to be more aggressive if you are male versus female.

So in most cases, thyroid cancer is detected either on a routine physical exam without causing any symptoms or on a routine scan which is frequently obtained for totally unrelated reasons.

That does not mean you have thyroid cancer if somebody finds a nodule the majority of thyroid nodules are benign.

Signs of Thyroid Cancer

This should prompt a workup to make sure that this is not thyroid cancer. Because the thyroid gland is so close to the surface, it’s easy to also examine your thyroid gland yourself. It’s located right below the voice box – it’s a little butterfly-shaped organ and if you put your hands right here and you swallow, you feel something moving slightly up and down and that’s your thyroid gland.

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Thyroid cancer. 3D illustration showing thyroid gland with tumor inside human body and closeup view of thyroid cancer cells

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

The most common symptoms of thyroid cancer are just swelling of the thyroid gland, often a feeling of pressure or something just being stuck in the throat or below the throat. If cancer progresses to a certain size, it can start interfering with the functioning of the voice box, there can be hoarseness, there can be difficulty swallowing, although these are typically signs of more advanced thyroid cancer.

Now, please keep in mind that these are common symptoms that every one of us experiences at some point in our lives and it does not necessarily mean that you have thyroid cancer, in fact, most likely, you don’t. However, if these symptoms persist, then please have those checked out by your physician.

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