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Thyroid Cancer Symptoms, Stages and More

September 1, 2019 Read Time - 4 minutes

About Author

Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms, Stages, and More

Are you worried that you or someone you love might have thyroid cancer? What if it isn’t cancer, but it’s another thyroid problem? Where can you find more thyroid information?

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, so we’re giving you the information you need about thyroid cancer and other common conditions.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

Early in a case of thyroid cancer, you may not experience any symptoms. As the cancer progresses, you may experience symptoms like:

A lump on your neck

Pain in your throat and neck

Changes to your voice, like hoarseness

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Trouble swallowing

Trouble breathing


Read: Get Thyroid Treatment Online With PlushCare


Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors

While thyroid cancer can affect anybody, some people are at a higher risk than others, including:

Females

Inherited genetic syndrome

Exposure to high radiation levels

Ages 22-50

Types of Thyroid Cancer

There are many different types of thyroid cancer. Some types are more aggressive than others. Types of thyroid cancer include:

Papillary

Medullary

Anaplastic

Follicular

Thyroid Cancer Stages

After your thyroid cancer diagnosis, your doctor will assign a stage to it. The stage reflects the severity of the cancer and is represented by the numbers I (1) through IV (4) and the letters A, B, and C. The higher the number of the stage, the more the cancer has spread.

The stages of thyroid cancer are usually based on the AJCC (American Joint Committee on Cancer) TNM system.

It’s based on 3 things:

  • Tumor size and location – is it affecting important structures?
  • Lymph Node spread – has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes?
  • Metastasis – has the cancer spread to other organs, like the liver or lungs?

A lot of factors go into assigning a stage to a cancer. In addition to the TNM system, factors like the patient’s age and the type of cancer are considered.

Here is a very simplified example of the stages:

Stage I – The tumor is 2 cm or smaller and is only in your thyroid.

Stage II – The tumor is larger than 2 cm but is still localized to the thyroid.

Stage III – The cancer has spread beyond the thyroid. It had most likely reached your lymph nodes.

Stage IV – The cancer has spread to other parts of your body. The letters A, B, and C represent where the cancer has spread to.

Thyroid Cancer Treatment

Luckily, thyroid cancer is often treatable. Treatments will depend on what type and stage of cancer you have. Thyroid cancer treatment may include:

Surgery

Thyroid hormone therapy

Radioactive iodine

External radiation therapy

Chemotherapy

Injecting alcohol into cancers

Targeted drug therapy

Supportive care

Thyroid Information and Treatment Online

Your thyroid can cause a lot of problems besides just cancer. You can learn more about thyroid problems here.

If you already know that you have hypothyroidism or another thyroid problem, you can get medications online. At PlushCare, you can have a video or phone appointment with one of our trusted doctors. If the doctor thinks you would benefit from thyroid medication, they can electronically send a prescription to your pharmacy.

Getting started with PlushCare is easy. Just click here or call (888) 204-5706 any time to schedule a phone or video appointment.


Read More About Thyroid Cancer Symptoms, Stages and More


Sources

Mayo Clinic. Thyroid Cancer. Accessed on September 6, 2019 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thyroid-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20354161

American Cancer Society. Thyroid Cancer Stages. Accessed on September 6, 2019 at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/thyroid-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/staging.html

WebMD. What Are the Stages of Thyroid Cancer? Accessed on September 6, 2019 at https://www.webmd.com/cancer/what-are-the-stages-of-thyroid-cancer#1

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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