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Fatigued or Full Throttle: Is Your Thyroid to Blame?

Understanding Thyroid Problems -- Symptoms and Treatments
(continued)

What About Thyroid Cancer?

Cancer of the thyroid gland is quite rare and occurs in less than 10% of thyroid nodules. You might have one or more thyroid nodules for several years before they are determined to be cancerous. People who have received radiation treatment to the head and neck earlier in life, possibly as a remedy for acne, tend to have a higher-than-normal propensity for thyroid cancer.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • You may get a lump or swelling in your neck. This is the most common symptom.
  • You may have pain in your neck and sometimes in your ears.
  • You may have trouble swallowing.
  • You may have trouble breathing or have constant wheezing.
  • Your voice may be hoarse.
  • You may have a frequent cough that is not related to a cold.

Some people may not have any symptoms. Their doctors may find a lump or nodule in the neck during a routine physical exam.

Most people who have treatment for thyroid cancer do very well, because the cancer is usually found early and the treatments, including surgery, work well. Once treated, thyroid cancer rarely returns.

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Reviewed on September 04, 2011
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