Thyroid Cancer Symptoms
In most cases of thyroid cancer, symptoms do not develop in the early stages of the disease. As the disease progresses, signs and symptoms may include a lump or pain in the front of the neck, hoarseness or difficulty speaking, swollen lymph nodes, and difficulty swallowing.
Thyroid cancer usually develops over time. As the cancer cells grow within the thyroid, they spread more deeply into the thyroid and to surrounding areas. When thyroid cancer spreads (metastasizes) outside the thyroid, cancer cells are often found in nearby lymph nodes, nerves, blood vessels, or organs.
(Click Thyroid Cancer for more information, including how the disease is diagnosed, treatment options, and prognosis.)
In most cases, the disease does not cause any early thyroid cancer symptoms. However, as the cancer grows, symptoms may include:
- A lump, or nodule, in the front of the neck near the Adam's apple
- Hoarseness or difficulty speaking in a normal voice
- Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Pain in the throat or neck.
The possible symptoms of thyroid cancer discussed in this article are not sure signs of the disease. Other health problems can also cause these symptoms. People with possible thyroid cancer symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible -- only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.