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: 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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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: 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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Comment from: sillysoni, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

Since as long as I can remember I"ve had hyperthyroidism. About 5 years ago when I was 37, I was diagnosed with advanced Graves's disease and been on Neomercazole since. But lately I"ve been so tired and have no energy at all which really is the worst as I have a high energy job. After having blood tests that showed the Neomercazole wasn"t doing its job, I was sent for an ultrasound which found 6 tumors up to 1.5cm solid with calcifications. Going to have a biopsy in 2 weeks and hoping for the best!

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