Thyroid Cancer - Symptoms

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The symptoms of thyroid cancer can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

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Thyroid cancer symptoms*

*Thyroid cancer symptoms medical author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Not all thyroid cancers produce symptoms. When symptoms do occur they may consist of:

  • lumps or nodules in front of the neck (single or multiple)
  • enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
  • problems with swallowing
  • hoarseness or voice changes
  • pain or discomfort in the neck
  • chronic cough
Return to Thyroid Cancer

See what others are saying

Comment from: JCH29, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

I had what I can only describe as a muscle spasm in my throat. I would get a sharp pain at the base of my throat, followed by pain at the top of my throat (back roof of my mouth) and pain at the top of my stomach (where my throat met my stomach). If felt like my stomach and the roof of my mouth were being pulled to the thyroid. The only way I could help ease the pain was to drink ice cold water and "stretch" my throat by tilting my head up. I didn't think this was an issue until a cervical MRI happened to reveal a tumor on my thyroid. The "muscle spasms" I thought I was having turned out to be cancer. Had I said something 5 months earlier, I wouldn't be ill today. I had other symptoms (weight gain, hot flashes, odd pains, sweating all the time, fatigue, depression, and poor sleep) that were being dismissed via prescriptions for sleep aids, antidepressants, constipation, anti-anxiety drugs and narcotic pain medicines. These prescriptions only masked the symptoms of deadly cancer until things began to get worse.

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Comment from: butterflywings, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

When I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer, I didn't feel any odd lumps or nodules in my neck, but I was suffering from muscle weakness, tiredness and getting constant colds. After a particularly nasty bug I noticed that my lymph nodes never seemed to go down in size. Once I had my treatment (thyroidectomy+radiation-iodine+medication) I felt more myself than I had done in years. A year on and another suspicious nodule has been seen on ultrasound scan. My doctors have recently asked me to increase my dose of thyroxine to reduce risk of it growing further until they find out exactly what it could be. But interestingly I'm starting to feel lethargic again, feeling cold, tired, also slight tickly cough, all pointing towards hypothyroidism. I wonder if it is possible that thyroid cancer somehow alters the way the hormone is taken on in the body; blood levels show that everything is normal, but I clearly am not!

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