Signs & Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancers are usually detected by patients or doctors when they feel a lump in the thyroid gland or when an imaging test for an unrelated condition shows a lump in the thyroid gland. Other rare signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer include:

  • A lump or bump somewhere else in the neck: A metastatic lymph node with a biopsy showing thyroid cancer is another way that thyroid cancer can be detected.
  • Change in voice: Unlike benign tumours in the thyroid gland, thyroid cancers can invade the nerves to the voice box (larynx) or even the trachea and esophagus. This could lead to a hoarse voice.
  • Difficulty with swallowing (dysphagia): If thyroid tumours become very large (or invade surrounding structures), they can cause difficulty with swallowing.

It is important to note that a patient could have one or more of these symptoms and NOT have thyroid cancer. There are several non-cancerous causes of the same symptoms. That is why it is important for patients to go see a medical specialist if they are experiencing any of these symptoms.