You should see a doctor if:

  • You noticed a lump (swelling) in your neck
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes
  • The change in voice, a constant hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in the neck and throat

Address the profile specialist - the endocrinologist!

Specific signs of thyroid cancer are difficult to distinguish since the cause of significant visible symptoms is most often not cancer but a node in the thyroid gland. Nodes - a widespread phenomenon, moreover, the probability of their development increases with age. But 95% of all lumps are often benign.

According to statistics, thyroid cancer affects women three times more often than men.

Nodular formation of the gland or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck area is primarily a sign of the infectious process and only in some cases may indicate cancer. If the tumor is found in a patient under the age of 20, it is worth visiting a doctor as soon as possible. At this age, such formations are not typical and may be a sign of aggressive cancer.

If you have found nodes in the thyroid gland, it is important to know about all the possible signs of cancer.

The early diagnosis of thyroid cancer is complicated due to an absence of clinical manifestation, or it may be mistaken for "nodular goiter." That's why you shouldn't neglect regular examinations of a specialist.

Primary signs of thyroid cancer:

  • feeling "lump in the throat";
  • swelling in the neck;
  • discomfort when swallowing;
  • trouble breathing;
  • hoarseness or other voice changes;
  • pain in the neck.

Symptoms of advanced thyroid cancer:

  • a fast-growing "goiter";
  • hardening in the neck area;
  • soreness or unpleasant sensations in the throat;
  • enlarged lymph nodes;
  • loss of voice;
  • prolonged cough;
  • tension and pain when swallowing.

In some patients, cancer can have no symptoms, and therefore the tumor is detected late.

Early diagnosis is possible if a patient consults a doctor right after the tumor was noticed. Regular preventive examinations are critical factors in the treatment.

The bigger tumor gets, the more obvious are signs of thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer is not an aggressive tumor. It may not change its size for many years. It applies to all types of thyroid cancer, except the anaplastic form. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a very rare type of cancer (less than 3% of cases) is exceptionally aggressive and grows rapidly.

It is accompanied by symptoms like:

  • puffiness;
  • cyanosis of the face;
  • swelling;
  • severe shortness of breath;
  • a headache;
  • fatigue;
  • decreased body weight;
  • high body temperature.

Causes of Thyroid Cancer

Reasons for thyroid cancer development

  • benign lumps;
  • genetic risk factors (family history);
  • failure of neuroendocrine functions;
  • exposure to ionizing radiation;
  • bad habits (smoking).

How to determine thyroid cancer?

  • palpatory examination;
  • ultrasound;
  • radioiodine scans;
  • thyroid function tests;
  • a needle biopsy.

Prevention of the thyroid cancer

The critical factor of thyroid cancer prevention is a timely treatment of other diseases of the gland and regular examinations, which can not be neglected by people at a risk group. An iodine-balanced diet is highly recommended (iodized salt and seaweed in the menu).

Clinical Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Clinical symptoms at the initial stage are non-specific. A doctor may suspect a malignant tumor during the examination if a node in the thyroid gland is detected.

The thyroid gland consists of 2 halves, connected by a bridge of tissue (isthmus).The tumor usually appears in the lower half of the thyroid lobe, less often in the isthmus of the gland, from which it can spread to both lobes. At the early stages, the tumor is round, smooth and has a dense consistency. Advanced tumor becomes lumpy and can grow into one or both lobes.

Often, the tumor grows towards the back of the neck, where it can squeeze the nerve and trachea. It leads to such symptoms as hoarseness of voice and shortness of breath. In some cases cancer compresses the esophagus, disrupting the swallowing process (dysphagia).

In the course of further development of cancer, the muscles of the neck and the vascular-neural bundle become affected as well.