Thyroid cancer originates in the cells of the thyroid. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck, just below the voice box (larynx). This gland is in charge of making hormones that help to regulate certain essential body functions.
Thyroid cancer is the most commonly-diagnosed cancer in people in the 15-29 age group, and is more common in women than in men.
It is the 9th most common cancer in Canada, with approximately 7,100 new cases diagnosed annually. Thankfully, it is one of the most treatable and survivable cancers, with a 5-year survival rate of 98%.
This cancer will often not have any symptoms in its early stages. As the cancer grows, signs and symptoms may include:
- A lump in the front of the neck
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Hoarseness or other voice changes
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
- Pain in the throat or neck that does not go away
Other health problems can be responsible for some of the same symptoms, such as an infection or a goiter. Testing is needed to make a proper diagnosis.
Information taken from Canadian Cancer Society.