You get regular colonoscopies to check for colon cancer and see a dermatologist to make sure you don't have skin cancer. But what about thyroid cancer - is it even something you're concerned about?
Perhaps not, but maybe you should be. The number of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer has doubled since the 1970s. Woman, in particular, seem to be at risk. Here are four symptoms to watch out for.
Four common symptoms of thyroid cancer
#1: You have a lump on your neck
Your thyroid gland is located at the front of your neck. If any bump appears around that area and doesn’t disappear on its own within a few weeks, you should get it checked out by your doctor. If the thyroid cancer
has already spread to the nearby lymph nodes, the bump – or mass – may be on the side of your neck where your lymph nodes are, rather than at the front of your neck.
#2: It’s difficult to swallow
As a mass grows, it could cause you trouble with swallowing. In some cases, it may even hurt. As with a lump, if this problem doesn’t go away within a few weeks – like a cold
or virus that might cause swelling in your throat would – it’s a smart idea to see your doctor.
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#3: Your voice has changed
Your voice box is situated right on top of your thyroid, so changes to your thyroid gland could result in changes to your voice. In most cases, the voice becomes chronically hoarse. Thyroid cancer isn’t the only cause of hoarse voice though. Perhaps it’s just from a sore throat?
#4: It hurts to eat, speak or breathe
These symptoms usually only occur when thyroid cancer is very advanced. If it hurts in any way to eat, speak or breathe
, you should seek medical attention immediately.
If you’re experiencing one or more of the above symptoms and can’t figure out why, make sure you get tested for thyroid cancer. After all, prevention is better than cure!
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