What are the early signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer?

Cancer has now taken a commonplace in the healthcare system, where more than 9.6 billion people are suffering from it globally. In recent years there has been a marked occurrence of thyroid cancer. In addition, the systematic incidence ratio of thyroid cancer was 1.9 per hundred thousand people in men, whereas it is 6.1 in women across the world.

As of now, you got to know that thyroid cancer is a rare disease that is caused but believed to be fatal enough. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located at the base of the neck. This gland mainly controls hormones and metabolism, including control of body temperature.

The cause of this cancer can be alterations or mutations in the thyroid cells. The thyroid cells start growing abnormally, which later forms a mass of abnormal cells, transforming itself into a tumour. Below is detailed information about the various signs and symptoms of rarely occurring thyroid carcinoma.

What are the main causes of thyroid cancer?

The Mutations in the DNA of normal, healthy living cells of your body leads to thyroid cancer. This induces unrestricted growth and multiplication of cells in the thyroid gland, forming an abnormal mass of cells called a tumour.

These tumours evolve to consume adjacent tissue and dissipate (metastasize) to the lymph nodes in the neck. The cancer cells can rarely disperse from the neck to the lungs, bones, and other portions of the body.

Thyroid cancer is connected with several inherited conditions, but the reason behind the cause of thyroid cancer is not yet evident.

Some marked factors that have been reported to cause cancer are:

  • Iodine deficiency: iodine deficiency is the most common cause of nodule formation (goitre). In case of severe iodine deficiency, the chances of thyroid cancer are higher.
  • Radiation exposure: A person exposed to radiation in the head, neck, or chest in childhood develops a potential factor in causing thyroid cancer.
  • Hormonal disbalance: thyroid cancer in females is relatively more than males because of the presence of high levels of oestrogen hormones in females.
  • Gene disorder: families with a history of thyroid cancer, particularly with medullary thyroid cancer, often have more chances of developing thyroid cancer. There are certain gene identification tests for the detection of mutation in the cells for cancer detection, which will be suggested by the doctor.
  • Obesity or overweight people
  • Signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer

Early thyroid cancer does not include any signs or symptoms specifically, but the symptoms will be observed with the tumour growth.

Here are some points that will help you better understand how thyroid cancer makes you feel.


  • A painless lump or swelling in the front of the neck – besides the fact that only 1 in 20 lumps of the throat are cancer.
  • Inflamed glands in the neck.
  • Uncharted hoarseness, which doesn’t get cured.
  • Sore throat that does not get better.
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Pain occurs in the throat or neck.
  • A cough that is caused by a cold persisted for a longer duration.

You may see such symptoms more commonly in Papillary thyroid cancer.


It is important to consider a consultation with a doctor after suspecting such signs and symptoms.

The doctor will perform various physical inspections to confirm the signs of thyroid cancer. A doctor will examine the neck and will prescribe a certain diagnosis after suspecting for confirmation.

Primarily there are four types of thyroid cancer

There are 4 main types of thyroid carcinoma:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer – It is the most common thyroid cancer occurring in 8 out of 10 people. It is more susceptible in women among the age group under 40.
  • Follicular carcinoma – It is a rare thyroid cancer occurring among 1 out of 10 people in the middle-aged group females.
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma – It accounts for 1 in 10 people. It is common in both males and females.
  • Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma – It is the rarest and most severe thyroid cancer, occurring mainly in the old age group with age above 60.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Thyroid Cancer

The confirmation of the thyroid cancer can be done by performing various diagnostic tests such as:

  • Physical examination – The doctor will examine your neck to determine the changes in the thyroid, such as a lump(nodule) in the thyroid. Based on the physical examination, the doctor will take a brief family history or any prior exposure to radiation in the past.
  • Blood test – The blood test measures blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and hormones produced by your thyroid gland giving your doctor clues about the health of your thyroid. The normal thyroid range in an adult is 0.40-0.45 mIU/ml.
  • Genetic testing: If the patient is diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer, the doctor might recommend the patient to go for gene testing. Recognizing that the patient has an inherited gene will help the doctor understand the risk of other types of cancer..
  • Thyroid Cancer Treatment

  • Biopsy: it is a process in which a fine needle method is used to take out a portion of the affected tissue of the organ. It also includes ultrasound devices and the fine needle method to precisely perform the procedure.

The treatment planning of thyroid cancer is mainly dependent on the type of thyroid cancer (as mentioned above) and the size of the lesion. However, it is also seen that the initial stages of thyroid cancer don’t require any major treatment.

The treatment planning widely depends on the type of thyroid cancer detected. Some commonly prescribed treatments are widely accepted by the doctor and the patient.

  • Surgery :

  • The surgery is the ultimate solution to thyroid cancer. Removing the affected portion of the thyroid or the complete thyroid tumour is done to cure the disease.
  • Surgery widely depends on the type and size of cancer and how much area it is spread.

Surgery for thyroid cancer includes :

  • Thyroidectomy (removal of the complete gland)
  • Thyroid lobectomy ( removal of a part )
  • Lymph node dissection ( removal of lymph nodes)
  • Hormone therapy:This treatment includes the stoppage of the hormone due to which the cancer is growing.
  • Radioactive iodine: Injecting the radioactive iodine into the bloodstream, which is taken up by thyroids-like cells, and the radioactive element in it, later on, destroys the cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy


If you sense any such signs and symptoms, you need to visit the doctor for diagnosis and prevention. Dr. Saphalta Baghmar is one of the leading oncologists in Delhi, NCR. You’ll be provided with quality treatment by a highly experienced doctor in Delhi NCR.


  • How long is the life expectancy with thyroid cancer?

Around 90 out of 100 females and 85 males survive for 5 years and more with this disease.

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