Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer You Should Be Aware Of

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found in the base of a person’s neck which secretes hormones that regulate one’s metabolism and determines how our bodies use energy. A normal-functioning thyroid also controls many other aspects of our bodies, including our breathing, heart rate, central and peripheral nervous systems, body weight, muscle strength, menstrual cycles, body temperature, cholesterol levels, and the rate of our metabolism.

When a person’s thyroids aren’t functioning properly they can develop a thyroid disorder, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, which cause the metabolism to be overactive or underactive. That’s not all, though. People with damaged thyroids can also go through cellular genetic changes (mutations) that allow the cells to grow rapidly, multiply, and accumulate, forming a tumor and resulting in thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer has few known risk-factors and causes, therefore it’s really important to be able to recognize if you fall within those, or if you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer. Here is everything you need to know in order to detect thyroid cancer in yourself or in someone you know.

Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer

Lumps in the thyroid are fairly common and usually benign, and some of these symptoms can be caused by non-cancerous conditions. Still, contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer, since they could be an indication of a malignant tumor, or cancer in another area of the neck.

  • A lump in the neck, which may grow quickly

  • Swelling in the neck

  • Pain in the front of the neck, which may travel up to your ears

  • Hoarseness or other voice changes that last longer than is expected or do not go away

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Trouble breathing

  • A constant cough that is unrelated to cold symptoms

Risk Factors Of Thyroid Cancer

If you fall under the category of any of the following risk factors, then you may be at a higher risk for developing thyroid cancer. Here are 3 of the most common risk factor of thyroid cancer:

  • Gender: It’s not known why, but thyroid cancer affects female women 3x as often as men.

  • Age: Thyroid cancer can occur at any age, but it’s been noted that the risks peak for women in their 40s and 50s and for men in their 60s and 70s.

  • Radiation Exposure: Exposure to high levels of radiation include radiation treatment to the head and neck or from sources such as nuclear power plant accidents or weapons trainings.

  • Inherited Genetic Syndromes: Genetic syndromes that increase the risk of thyroid cancer include familial medullary thyroid cancer and multiple endocrine neoplasia.

How To Test For Thyroid Cancer

At Rosetta Radiology, we test for thyroid cancer with a diagnostic tool called a Thyroid FNA, also known as a thyroid fine needle aspiration. The procedure is a biopsy that collects some tissue from the growth on the patient’s thyroid in order to determine whether it is benign or malignant (cancerous or noncancerous).

More Information

If you would like to learn more about thyroid cancer or any other thyroid conditions, feel free to contact us. Our radiology center specializes in diagnostic services, as well as oncology and women’s imaging, so whatever your need, we can help. Contact us or book an appointment today!

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