Because thyroid cancer has no confusing symptoms, a lack of information about it often leaves them overlooked.
Because thyroid cancer does not have clearly distinctive symptoms, a lack of information about it often makes one turn a blind eye to some of the body’s signals that something is wrong.
Most patients who are diagnosed with thyroid cancer go to the doctor for the appearance of a nodule, as explained by Endocrin Web. The nodules that appear in the thyroid are not always malignant, only tests and analyzes conducted by specialists can confirm or not the presence of thyroid cancer.
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According to the Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association, this type of cancer is one of the only ones that has increased the number of patients. According to the American Cancer Association there will be 64,300 new cases of thyroid cancer this year, of which 1,980 (1,070 women and 910 men) will die from this cause.
Some of the symptoms that should alert you are the following:
1. Nodule on the neck:
Nodules that form on the thyroid cannot always be seen from the outside, but in many cases, people can see or feel a nodule (which is usually small) on the front of the neck.
However, some patients may feel like they have a nodule as a discomfort when swallowing, as if there is something stuck in the throat. The only way to know if it is a simple nodule or a cancer is to go to a specialist.
2. Swollen lymph nodes:
Swollen lymph nodes are one of the slightly clearer symptoms of possible thyroid cancer. These have nothing to do with thyroid nodules, however, thyroid cancer can easily spread to the lymphatic system, which is in charge of fighting infections in the body.
One way to know where the lymph nodes are in the neck is by feeling them just below the lower jaw. These, in general, increase in size (that is, they become inflamed) when you have the flu; when the flu goes away, they go back to normal size.
3. Hoarse voice:
The change in voice, and snoring not related to angina or any other type of condition that affects the buccal cords, may be the presence of a thyroid tumor that is pressing against the larynx, causing hoarseness.
It should be noted that this is one of the less frequent symptoms, but that if it happens to you, you must make sure that it is not something serious.
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4. Difficulty swallowing or breathing
The thyroid is in front of the windpipe, and the growth of a tumor can put pressure on it, making it more difficult for air to pass.
On the other hand, the esophagus is located below the trachea, and as with the previous example, the presence of a tumor in the thyroid can cause pressure in the esophagus, making swallowing not happen without causing discomfort.
5. Neck pain
Physical pain is always a sign that something is not working as it should. If you feel pain in your neck that lasts for more than a couple of weeks, it is important not to ignore it and to consult a specialist.
Neck pain is a less common symptom in thyroid cancer, but if the pain persists and you have any of the other symptoms, it is important to see a doctor.
6. Sore throat
As in the case of neck pain, if the pain or discomfort in the throat does not subside in a few weeks, it is very important that you consult a specialist.
Although thyroid cancer symptoms are usually caused by the growing nodules and not by the cancer itself, it is important that you do not miss any of these symptoms and that you make an appointment with a doctor. Remember that the sooner you take action, the better results you will get.