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Thyroid cancer

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Signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer

A sign is something that can be observed and recognized by a doctor or healthcare professional (for example, a rash). A symptom is something that only the person experiencing it can feel and know (for example, pain or tiredness). The signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer can also be caused by other health conditions. It is important to have any unusual symptoms checked by a doctor.

Signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer are:

  • a lump in the front, lower part of the neck
  • a hoarse voice
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty breathing
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • a cough that doesn't go away and is not due to a cold
  • a sore throat that is not due to a cold
  • neck pain that doesn't go away

It is important to know that many patients with newly diagnosed thyroid cancer may not have any of these signs or symptoms.

Medullary thyroid cancer is a rare thyroid cancer that is characterized by increased amounts of the hormone calcitonin in the bloodstream. This can cause additional signs and symptoms such as:

  • diarrhea
  • flushed (red) face


Lusomé Founder and CEO Lara Smith Seeing my sister Erin – a young mother – struggle with the emotional blow and then the physical toll of cancer treatment made me want to do something to help women feel confident.

Read Lara's story

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