What are the symptoms?
Thyroid cancer usually develops slowly, without many obvious symptoms. However, some people experience one or more of the following:
- a painless lump in the neck (the lump may grow gradually)
- trouble swallowing
- difficulty breathing
- changes to the voice, e.g. hoarseness
- swollen lymph glands (lymph nodes) in the neck (the lymph nodes may slowly grow in size over months or years).
Although a painless lump in the neck is a typical sign of thyroid cancer, thyroid lumps (nodules) are common and turn out to be benign in 90% of adults.
Having an underactive or overactive thyroid (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) is not typically a sign of thyroid cancer.