health

Thyroid Cancer: Lumps, Bumps, And Other Symptoms Everyone Needs To Know

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content at LittleThings. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for sites like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Unwritten. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law and Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

In 2013, a woman was watching an episode of HGTV’s Flip or Flop when she noticed that the host, Tarek El Moussa, had a lump on his throat.

The woman, who was a registered nurse, contacted the television host to alert him of the potential problem — and Tarek was later diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

For many HGTV fans, this was the first they’d ever heard of thyroid cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 1.2% of people will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer during their lives.

That being said, over 98% of people with thyroid cancer survive at least five years after the diagnosis.

Thinking about cancer is always scary, but knowing more about the signs and symptoms is very important: not only can it help you, it can also help your friends and family.

Keep reading to find out more about the signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer.

Thumbnail Photo: Wikimedia Commons

What Is Thyroid Cancer? Who Is At Risk?

what is thyroid cancer
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In your neck, there is a butterfly-shaped gland known as the thyroid.

The thyroid makes the hormones that keep your body working normally.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are different types of thyroid cancer. The people who are at most risk are women between the ages of 25 and 65, people of Asian descent, people whose family members have had thyroid cancer, and people who have previously had radiation treatment.

Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer
#1: Pain In Your Neck And Throat

neck and throat pain
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One of the most noticeable symptoms of thyroid cancer is pain in the throat and neck.

The Mayo Clinic explains that this is one of the primary signs to look out for.

According to the American Cancer Society, you may have pain in the front of the neck that can actually radiate all the way up to the ears.

#2: Difficulty Swallowing

difficulty swallowing
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Because thyroid cancer may cause the thyroid gland to swell up, it can make eating and swallowing very difficult.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, trouble swallowing can be a key indicator of thyroid cancer.

#3: Changes To Your Voice

voice changes
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Many people who have thyroid cancer notice that they experience changes in the sound of their voice.

These changes may be mild, like hoarseness from a sore throat, or may be more serious like a tonal change, explains the American Cancer Society.

#4: A Lump You Can Feel Through Your Skin

neck lump
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The symptom most people associate with thyroid cancer is a significant lump in the neck, which can be felt and seen through the skin.

According to the American Cancer Society, this lump can grow very rapidly, becoming noticeable very quickly.

#5: Swollen Lymph Nodes

swollen lymph nodes
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Aside from the lump in the front of the neck, people with thyroid cancer may also notice other neck swellings.

The lymph nodes will often swell as a symptom of thyroid cancer, explains the Cleveland Clinic.

#6: Chronic Cough

chronic cough
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The American Cancer Society explains that another common symptom of thyroid cancer is a chronic cough.

If you notice that you have a constant cough but it isn’t from a cold, it may be a sign of thyroid cancer.

#7: Trouble Breathing

trouble breathing
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Another sign of thyroid cancer is trouble breathing.

Any time you have trouble breathing, you should take it seriously, explains the American Cancer Society.

When To See A Doctor

thyroid cancer doctor
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you have any of the above symptoms or signs, you should make an appointment with your doctor right away.

Although these are all symptoms of thyroid cancer, they are also symptoms of other non-cancerous conditions, so it’s important not to jump to any conclusions.

If you do have the signs of thyroid cancer, your doctor will test you, then treat you if you have a positive diagnosis.

Please SHARE this article with your friends and family to raise awareness of thyroid cancer!