© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
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 similar to those of other medical conditions. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your doctor.
- A lump in the front of the neck, near the Adam's apple
- 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
Talk with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing 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. Questions may include how long you've been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.
If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects 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.