Patient Comments: Thyroid Cancer - Symptoms

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

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: shaksy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I've been getting progressively worse for the past 4 years, and have been trying to find a doctor who would listen, for that long too. I had 2 biopsies a year and a half ago, and 1 nodule came back undiagnostic both times. The surgeon said it was my choice to have it taken out, that it was the only way to be 100 percent sure, but both endocrinologists blew it off and said they weren't worried about it. Now I feel so bad. I keep getting sore throats, dizziness, sweats, nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, and more, but the most worrisome is the lump on my neck. I asked the doctor (new doctor, so far she has listened to everything) if it could be from sinusitis but all she said was it is pretty big. I am scared about thyroid cancer. Ultrasound is tomorrow. I got from, 'oh, it'll be nothing, quit worrying,' to 'but there is a huge lump and you are so sick.' The new one couldn't believe that with low thyroid results since 2002, that no one has helped me! I told her every single one blamed my symptoms on anxiety. Ugh, but I'm trying to not get angry. Makes me feel worse.

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Comment from: Blessed620, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I am 30 years old. I had my daughter when I was 24 and I was able to lose about 65 pounds and keep it off for a while. I had my son at 28 and I lost all of the baby weight and additional 13 pounds in a year. Boy, did I work hard for those 13 pounds. I gained it all back in a matter of 6 weeks after my summer vacation. I couldn't understand why, as nothing had changed. I started feeling extremely tired and all of my muscles and joints hurt. I started doing some of my own research and did a self-examination of my neck. To my surprise I actually felt a lump on my neck close to my thyroid. It scared me at first but it also answered a million questions. I scheduled my appointment right away. My doctor felt the lump as well and ordered an ultrasound. The technician confirmed it was inside my thyroid. I just received my results today. My next step is FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy) to detect if there is cancer. It's about 3.6 cm big on my right lobe. It is solid and vascular. I will post an update in a few weeks. I just want to feel myself again. Listen to your body is all I have to say. He tried to blame it on the weight, stress at work, depression, etc., but had I not pointed out the lump my prognosis could have been different.

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Comment from: Sharon, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I've had chronic coughing for over 18 months now! Over the last year and a half, I've had 3 chest x-rays, a bronchoscopy, an esophagus scope, many visits to a pulmonary specialist, breathing tests, hydrocodone cough syrup, prescription cough suppressant pills, inhalers, puffers, nasal rinses, 24 hour GERD monitor, etc. The cough is worse at night and at times I've vomited because of the choking feeling. A pulmonary specialist kept telling me I had allergies or rhinitis but no medications would help. I've had the cough in Australia, Florida, Costa Rica and Illinois where I live so I knew it wasn't allergies. All the chest x-rays were clear. The coughing fits are embarrassing and have even kept me from attending church, movies, and other functions where one must be silent for periods of time. I kept telling the doctors I saw that something is not right. I also lost interest in exercising which I do regularly. I just don't seem to have the energy and even had my worst time in a spring 5K run. Finally, at an annual checkup with my oncologist (I'm at risk for breast cancer because of family history), I mentioned to her that I'm dealing with this chronic cough that not even 2 specialists I've seen for a second opinion can figure out. She was shocked that no one had ordered a CT scan of my chest. The scan she which immediately ordered showed nodules on my thyroid which led to a thyroid ultra sound followed by a biopsy (FNB). I have thyroid cancer and will see a surgeon this week. I'm angry and scared that this cough has been going on for over 18 months now. My main symptom of thyroid cancer was a cough!

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Thyroid Cancer - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your thyroid cancer?
Thyroid Cancer - Share Your Surgery Experience Question: Please share your experience with surgery for thyroid cancer.

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