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
Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors
While thyroid cancer can affect anybody, some people are at a higher risk than others, including:
Inherited genetic syndrome
Exposure to high radiation levels
Types of Thyroid Cancer
There are many different types of thyroid cancer. Some types are more aggressive than others. Types of thyroid cancer include:
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:
Thyroid hormone therapy
External radiation therapy
Injecting alcohol into cancers
Targeted drug therapy
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
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