Sunday, September 16, 2012

September Is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

Thyroid cancer is the fastest increasing cancer in incidence. It affects people of all ages, from young children to seniors. Even when treatable, thyroid cancer is life-disrupting, expensive, and stressful both for patients and for loved ones. Early detection is important, because some thyroid cancers are aggressive and difficult to treat.

Thyroid cancer, especially early in its development, may not cause any symptoms at all.

But as a thyroid cancer grows and develops, it is more likely to cause symptoms. Some of the symptoms that may point to thyroid cancer include the following:
  • A lump, or nodule in the neck -- especially in the front of the neck, in the area of the Adam's apple. (Note: Sometimes, the lump or nodule will be growing quickly.) 
  • Enlargement of the neck
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
  • Hoarseness, difficulty speaking normally, voice changes
  • Difficulty swallowing, or a choking feeling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in the neck or throat, including pain from the neck to the ears
  • Sensitivity in the neck -- discomfort with neckties, turtlenecks, scarves, necklaces
  • Persistent or chronic cough not due to allergies or illness 

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