Thyroid Cancer

Definition: A cancer in the butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck (thyroid)

It generally effects your metabolism, it's when abnormal cells begin to grow in your thyroid gland, most times you will experience a lump.


  • A lump or swelling in your neck. This is the most common symptom.
  • Pain in your neck and sometimes in your ears.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Difficulty breathing or constant wheezing.
  • Hoarseness that is not related to a cold.
  • A cough that continues and is not related to a cold.

Some people may not have any symptoms. Their doctors may find a lump or nodule in the neck during a routine physical exam.


Experts don't know what causes thyroid cancer. Like other cancers, changes in the DNA of your cells seem to play a role. These DNA changes may include changes that are inherited as well as those that happen as you get older.


Most cases of thyroid cancer cannot be prevented.

You may be much more likely to get medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) if you have a gene carried by some families. A genetic test can show if you carry this gene. If your test is positive for the gene, you may want to talk with your doctor about having your thyroid removed to prevent getting thyroid cancer later in life.

How it's treated

The goal of treatment is to kill the effected cells. Most people get their thyroid gland removed by surgery but still have treatment with radioactive iodine to destroy the remaining thyroid cancer. When the thyroid gland is removed the need for thyroid hormone medicine for the rest of your life. Eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep and exercise may help control your symptoms. If you have chemotherapy, your doctor may also give you medicines to control and prevent nausea and vomiting.


In order to diagnose thyroid cancer, your doctor will ask about your medical history and do a physical exam.

Your doctor may check your vocal cords using a thin tube-like instrument that has a light (laryngoscope).

Your doctor may order a CT scan or an ultrasound to get a better look at your thyroid. If your doctor thinks that the lump or nodule could be cancerous, he or she may do a fine needle biopsy of the thyroid gland.

Kinds of people that inherit the disease.

  • Age.
  • Being female.
  • Exposure to high levels of radiation, such as after a nuclear power accident.
  • A personal or family history ofthyroid disease or thyroid cancer.
  • Being Asian.

One rare type of thyroid cancer, which is called medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), runs in families. You can inherit a specific gene that increases your risk for MTC.

Things I learned

I didn't know where the thyroid was located, I didn't know that it is most common in women, and I also didn't know that it is most common


"Thyroid Cancer - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Exams and Tests." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2015.