Understanding Thyroid Cancer

The good news is that most cases of thyroid cancer can be found early and treated successfully.

But do you know what your thyroid is, the symptoms of thyroid cancer and what to do if you believe you are at risk? We invite you to keep reading.

The thyroid produces hormones that help regulate your metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. It is a two-inch long, butterfly-shaped gland found inside your neck right under your larynx.

Thyroid cancer can threaten the health of your thyroid and its ability to help your body function properly. Thyroid cancer happens when cancer cells form in the tissues of the thyroid gland. Women are three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men, according to the American Cancer Society.

The main types of thyroid cancer are differentiated (including papillary, follicular and Hürthle cell), medullary and anaplastic (an aggressive form of thyroid cancer).

Thyroid cancer typically doesn't cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. As thyroid cancer grows, it may cause hoarseness that doesn’t go away, trouble swallowing, neck swelling, trouble breathing, a lump in the neck and a cough that lasts for a long time. Many of these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions.

Even when thyroid cancer is more advanced, effective treatment is available at Lovelace Cancer Center.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, or have additional questions about your thyroid health, make an appointment with your doctor right away.

Call 727.2727 to schedule an appointment with a Lovelace Medical Group provider.