Thyroid cancer affects more women than it does men. There is no known cause as to why it affects more women, it just does. Thyroid cancer can be hard to detect, and usually there are no symptoms. Thyroid cancer can be slow spreading and slow growing; thus the reason why it can be hard to detect. There are three different places that thyroid cancer can strike. Eighty percent of all thyroid cancer happens in the papillary. It starts in the follicular cells, grows at a slow pace, and can be cured if caught early enough. Follicular accounts for 15% of cases and grows slowly. This cancer can be treated and cured if caught early enough. Medullary accounts for 3% of cancer, starts in the C cells, and makes abnormal amounts of calcitonin. It can be easier to control if it is treated before it spreads to other parts of the body. There is no rhyme or reason as to why people get it.
There are three top symptoms of thyroid cancer: a lump in the neck that might not cause a noticeable lump, a lump in the front of the neck that might be able to seen or felt, and a lump felt when swallowing. Doctors can usually detect a lump when they feel the thyroid. Another sign is swollen lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are throughout your whole body and help you to fight infections. Another symptom that people might experience is a hoarse voice. Your thyroid sits just below your larynx and the pressure from the thyroid can cause changes to your voice or cause it to be hoarse. The thyroid sits on top of the trachea and people that might have cancer could have a hard time breathing and swallowing. Since the cancer might sit on top of the trachea this may make it difficult for some to breathe. Thyroid cancer could cause trouble swallowing since your esophagus sits below the trachea.
Sometimes neck pain can be an indicator of having thyroid cancer, but having neck pain can mean almost anything. If you have neck pain for a couple of weeks, then you should see a doctor about it. Also having sensitivity to the neck could indicate that you might have thyroid cancer. If you do have these symptoms, do not panic. It could mean that you have something else wrong with you. Maybe you are under a lot of stress or have just been sick. You could have a sore neck from an old injury. It does not mean that you have cancer right away because you show some of the signs. The doctor can make a better guess from just feeling your neck, and if he suspects something is not right, he can send you to an endocrinologist. He will ask you questions and then order test to see what is going on. If caught early enough, thyroid cancer can be cured. It also has a very low rate of making a reappearance.
Tips and comments
If you are having pain in your neck, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing for a few weeks, you should make an appointment with your doctor to make sure nothing else is going on.