Thyroid cancer begins when cells within the gland change or mutate. Once these atypical cells begin to multiply, they form a tumor inside the lower front of your neck.
Within the human body, the thyroid gland produces hormones that control many vital functions. From monitoring your metabolism to promoting the development of your body, the thyroid gland is essential for a healthy system.
That being said, it’s important to ensure your thyroid is in tip-top shape, as it can impact your entire body if it doesn’t work properly. In order to do so, be sure to look out for the following symptoms of thyroid cancer…
1. Pain in the Front of the Neck
One of the earliest and most obvious symptoms of thyroid cancer is pain within the front of the neck. This pain is typically caused by a swollen or inflamed thyroid gland. In rare cases, this pain could spread to the jaw or ears.
If your thyroid feels tender to the touch and you have discomfort when swallowing or turning your head, it’s a good idea to reach out to your doctor. Especially if the pain lasts for weeks or even months, be sure to seek professional help immediately.
This symptom isn’t the only effect of thyroid cancer in the neck…
2. A Lump in the Neck
While lumps in the thyroid are common and usually benign, it’s still an important symptom that should not be ignored. If you find that you have swelling in the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple, this is a sign that your thyroid isn’t functioning properly.
As a result of this swelling, you may feel a tightness in the throat area. In order to check your thyroid, be sure to check for bulges or protrusions when you swallow. If you see any, see your doctor immediately.
When you experience tightness in your throat, you may also experience trouble breathing…
3. Trouble Breathing
If you find that your throat feels swollen, it’s likely that your breathing will become unsteady. This is because your enlarged thyroid gland can press on or block airways, making it harder to breathe. If this symptom applies to you, see a doctor immediately, as this is an early sign of thyroid cancer.
Along with difficulty breathing, an enlarged thyroid gland may make it hard to swallow as well…
4. Difficulty Swallowing
Thyroid enlargement often causes trouble swallowing, as the gland can directly compress your body’s swallowing organs. As a result, this can also make you feel like there is something stuck in your throat. This symptom is a tell-tale sign that there is a problem with your thyroid, making it important that you speak with your doctor.
Not only can thyroid cancer affect how you feel, but it can also change how you sound…
5. Vocal Changes
If your thyroid isn’t working properly, you may experience notable voice changes like a lower voice, roughness, reduced range, or even vocal fatigue. This is because when your thyroid hormone levels are dramatically reduced, your vocal folds develop a thickening of the vibrating layer, called myxedema.
While a hoarse voice doesn’t necessarily immediately link to thyroid cancer, it’s a good idea to contact your physician if you experience other symptoms along with it.
This next symptom of thyroid cancer can also lead to a hoarse voice…
6. Chronic Cough
When your thyroid gland gets larger, your throat may become irritated, resulting in a cough. This isn’t just any normal cough, though, as it may feel like it just won’t go away. If this applies to you, be sure to keep an eye out for other symptoms of thyroid cancer, as this can be a clear warning sign of thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer can also lead to frequent changes in emotions, too…
7. Mood Issues
While thyroid issues can lead to physical symptoms, they can also lead to mood issues. The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones within the body, and when it’s not functioning properly, you may experience frequent emotional changes.
If you often experience unstable emotions of anger, sadness, frustration, or what seems like mania, it’s a good idea to contact your doctor. This is more common in females, but can also occur within males as well.
This next symptom of thyroid cancer may come as a surprise…
8. Unexpected Weight Loss
Your thyroid gland controls your body’s metabolism, meaning it can be the source of weight gain or weight loss because of the hormones it produces. When your thyroid isn’t working properly, your metabolism can accelerate, causing unintentional weight loss.