Cancer is caused due to the abnormal growth or division of cells in any particular part of the body. Thyroid cancer is one that develops in the thyroid gland of the neck which is present at base of the neck and is responsible for the production of hormones. It is one of the rarest, but treatable form of cancer. Read more about thyroid cancer here. Read more about early thyroid cancer symptoms below.
Tumours in the thyroid are also called thyroid nodules and these are formed due abnormal overgrowth of cells in the thyroid gland. These are very common with at least half of the people having one nodule by the age of 60 years. 95% of the thyroid nodules are benign though and and only 5% are cancerous in nature.
Early detection of thyroid cancer:
Though there are no early symptoms in thyroid cancer, one can feel unusual lumps or swelling in the neck region indicative of thyroid nodules and it is advised to get it checked immediately in case the tumours are cancerous.
Symptoms of thyroid cancer:
Thyroid cancer does not always show symptoms. In most cases, these cancers are not diagnosed by regular examinations of the neck. In a few cases, the cancer is detected from x-rays or imagining tests.
The following are the most common symptoms of thyroid cancer:
- A slow growing lump in the neck
- Swelling of glands in the neck
- Neck pain, which could extend upto the ears
- Permanent voice changes or unexplained hoarseness
- Trouble in swallowing
- Breathing troubles
- Cough and cold
- Sore throat
The above symptoms could be caused by medical medications other than cancer like goitre for example. On experiencing any of the these symptoms, a doctor has to be consulted immediately. The doctor will diagnose the patients based on the intensity and effects of the symptoms. Diagnosis of thyroid cancer involves relieving the patients from the symptoms and treating their cause by symptom management, supportive or palliative care. Read more about diagnosis of thyroid cancer here. The patients have to be under supervision of the medical health care to follow up the changes or treatment of the symptoms.
The following are the tests recommended in case the doctors suspect thyroid cancer:
- Blood hormone tests
- CT scan