Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Printer Friendly
Download PDF

Thyroid Cancer

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 5/2014
Symptoms and Signs

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

People with thyroid cancer often experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with thyroid cancer do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer.

  • A lump in the front of the neck, near the Adam's apple
  • Hoarseness
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in the throat or neck
  • A cough that persists and is not caused by a cold

If you are concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. These symptoms may be caused by thyroid cancer; other thyroid problems, such as a goiter; or a condition not related to the thyroid, such as an infection.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.

© 2005-2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.

Connect With Us: