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Thyroid Cancer: Symptoms & Treatment

Thyroid cancer, compared to most other adult cancers, is typically diagnosed at a younger age. SSM Health endocrinologists and oncologists provide personalized, compassionate care to all of our patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Nearly three out of every four diagnoses are given to women. Fortunately, it is easily detectable at an early stage, and can be treated successfully.

Our team of oncologists are well equipped and trained to treat all four types of thyroid cancer:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer: develops from follicular cells, grows slowly, typically found in one lobe
  • Follicular thyroid cancer: less common, develops from follicular cells, grows slowly
  • Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC): develops in C cells, frequently part of a genetic syndrome of multiple endocrine neoplasms (MEN), accounts for 5-10% of thyroid cancers
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer: rare, fast-growing form, difficult to treat

Signs & Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer can cause any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • A lump in the neck, typically near the Adam’s apple
  • Loss of voice or hoarseness
  • Enlarged or swollen glands in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble with breathing
  • Discomfort or pain in the neck or throat
  • Persistent, unexplained coughing

It’s important for you to speak with your doctor right away if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. While these can be caused by non-cancerous conditions, SSM Health believes in a more proactive approach. This approach gives you answers and the potential care you need.

Treating Thyroid Cancer

Surgical removal of the affected area is the most commonly used treatment for thyroid cancer. Additional procedures that may be used include:

  • Thyroidectomy: removal of the entire thyroid gland
  • Lobectomy: removal of the lobe with cancer
  • Neck dissection: removal of neck lymph nodes and surrounding tissue

The doctors at SSM Health will thoroughly examine your individual case and talk through your potential treatment options with you. Their goal is to help you understand and feel confident in the days to come.

Make an appointment today with one of SSM Health’s thyroid cancer specialists. We’ll take you through the diagnosis, run the appropriate tests and develop a care plan specifically for you.

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