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Symptoms of thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer rarely causes symptoms.

The first finding is usually a solitary tumor or multinodal tumors in the thyroid gland without any symptoms or sign.

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. Click to enlarge the image.

The disease may also be discovered by enlarged lymph nodes which present as metastasis to the neck.

Other symptoms may be:

  • hoarseness
  • voice changes 
  • stridor

Symptoms requiring expedient work-up

  • Fast-growing tumor
  • Hoarseness or changes in voice which cannot be explained in patients with struma.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes of the neck
  • Tumor in children under 10 years or elder patients over 60, especially men
  • Stridor, which is a late debut symptom. The patient must be referred immediately.

Tumors in patients with familial accumulation of thyroid cancer, or who were previously irradiated to the neck, must have an expedient work-up.  

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