Cancer Home > Thyroid Cancer Pain

In cases of thyroid cancer, pain may occur when the tumor presses against nerves and other structures near the thyroid. Pain can also be the result of treatment for thyroid cancer. In order to reduce or relieve thyroid cancer pain, doctors may recommend pain medication, radiation, or a nerve block. For some people, alternative treatments (such as acupuncture) can help relieve pain associated with thyroid cancer.

Thyroid Cancer Pain: A Summary

People with thyroid cancer may experience pain as a result of their illness. This may occur because the tumor presses against nerves and other structures near the thyroid. In addition, pain associated with thyroid cancer may be a side effect of treatment for the disease. The patient's doctor or a specialist in pain control can relieve or reduce thyroid cancer pain with pain medication, radiation, or a nerve block.
Pain Medication
Pain medications can usually relieve thyroid cancer pain. Side effects of pain medication often include drowsiness and constipation, but resting and taking laxatives can help.
Radiation or high-energy rays can help relieve thyroid cancer pain. The radiation works to shrink the tumor.
Nerve Block
The doctor may inject alcohol into the area around certain nerves around the thyroid to block the thyroid cancer pain. This treatment is known as a nerve block.

Alternative Treatments for Thyroid Cancer Pain

The healthcare team may suggest other ways to relieve or reduce pain with thyroid cancer. Alternative treatments for thyroid cancer pain may include:
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Relaxation techniques.
(Click Alternative Treatment for Thyroid Cancer for more information about alternative treatments.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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