Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms of thyroid cancer may resemble other conditions or medical problems. In addition, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

Early thyroid cancer may not cause any symptoms. As the cancer grows, one of the first signs of thyroid cancer is a painless lump or swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

Signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer include:

  • A lump or swelling over the thyroid or elsewhere in the neck
  • A persistent cough
  • Hoarseness or other changes in the voice that don’t go away
  • Neck pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Swollen neck
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing

Thyroid Cancer Types: Prognosis

There are four main types of thyroid cancer. We determine what type it is based on how the cancer cells look under a microscope.

Some types of thyroid cancer grow faster than others. The chance of recovery (your prognosis) depends on:

  • The type of thyroid cancer
  • The stage of the cancer (whether it is in the thyroid only or has spread to other parts of the body)
  • Your age and overall health

Generally, the prognosis is better for patients younger than 45 years and those who have cancer that has not spread beyond the thyroid.

Types of Thyroid Cancer

Medullary thyroid cancer

Medullary Thyroid Cancer

Medullary thyroid cancer accounts for 5-10% of all thyroid cancers. Medullary thyroid cancer is the only thyroid cancer that begins in the C cells. This type of thyroid cancer is easier to control if it is found and treated early, before it spreads to other parts of the body.

Types of medullary thyroid cancer

There are two types of medullary thyroid cancer:

  • Sporadic medullary thyroid cancer
  • Familial medullary thyroid cancer (FMTC)

Because FMTC tends to run in families, screening tests for genetic abnormalities in the blood cells may be conducted.

Medullary thyroid cancer staging

Stage 0 medullary thyroid cancer

Anaplastic thyroid cancer

Recurrent thyroid cancer

Recurrent Thyroid Cancer

Recurrent disease means that the cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the thyroid or in other parts of the body.

Papillary thyroid cancer and follicular thyroid cancer