According to the American Cancer Society, there will be nearly 53,000 new thyroid cancer cases in 2020. This type of cancer affects women much more than men and is often found in early adulthood.
At one point, thyroid cancer was one of the fastest-growing types of cancer, but advances in diagnostics and patient education have helped increase awareness and earlier detection. At Desert West Surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada, our team of highly experienced surgeons outlines some of the telltale symptoms of thyroid nodules or cancer, so you know when to seek medical care.
Lump in the front of your neck
One of the first telltale signs of thyroid cancer is the formation of a lump or nodule at the front of your neck and generally under your Adam’s apple area. The nodule or lump is usually painless and doesn’t typically raise initial concern. The chances of a solitary nodule being malignant are higher in those under 30 and over 60.
Hoarseness or other changes in your voice
In conjunction with the formation of the lump or nodule, hoarseness is a sign that the nodule may compress a nerve in your larynx, housed just about your thyroid. Since your larynx is conversationally known as your voice box, changes in your voice usually mean
Medically known as dysphagia, difficulty swallowing is another key symptom of thyroid cancer. It’s caused when the thyroid gland enlarges and compresses your throat.
If you have been coughing for weeks now, the nodule or lump may be aggravating your vocal cords, touching on one or more nerves, and triggering the sensation that you need to cough.
Swollen lymph nodes
Thousands of lymph nodes, which are dispersed all over your body, help defend against viruses and bacteria. If you have thyroid cancer, the lymph nodes closest to your thyroid will become swollen and inflamed.
Our team offers a careful and compassionate evaluation of your thyroid and treats nodule and cancer with one of three types of surgery:
- Total thyroidectomy: removal of your entire thyroid, as well as the surrounding lymph nodes
- Thyroid lobectomy, with or without an isthmectomy: removal of one side of the thyroid
- Subtotal thyroidectomy: A near-total thyroidectomy, but a small portion of one lobe is left to generate hormones
To learn more about thyroid cancer and surgery, call the Desert West location closest to you or book your appointment online.