Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer begins in the thyroid gland, which is situated just below the Adam’s apple and is responsible for secreting hormones that regulate growth and development. Cancer can begin in either of the thyroid’s two main types of cells, follicular cells or parafollicular cells (C cells). About 9 out of 10 thyroid cancers begin in the follicular cells.

Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 60,220 new cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually. About 2 out of every 3 cases of thyroid cancer are found in people under the age of 55; women are three times more likely than men to develop thyroid cancer.

Risk factors include:

  • Being a women under the age of 55
  • Having a diet low in iodine
  • Having a family history of thyroid cancer
  • Being exposed to radiation from past cancer treatment

Signs & Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

See your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • A persistent cough
  • A lump, swelling or pain in the neck
  • Chronic voice hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing

Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment

Thyroid cancer is usually diagnosed in its early stages because people see their doctors when lumps or swelling in the neck appears. While there are no standard screening tests for thyroid cancer, the following diagnostic tests may be recommended if you exhibit symptoms or are at an especially high risk for developing thyroid cancer:

  • Laryngoscopy
  • Thyroid scan

Treatment for thyroid cancer may involve surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. 

Thyroid Cancer Education, Screenings & Treatment at BayCare

BayCare is proud to offer a variety of cancer services throughout Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and all of Tampa Bay. Call (855) 314-8346 for a physician referral or find a doctor near you.