About thyroid cancer
Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck.
The most common symptom of thyroid cancer is a painless lump or tumor in the neck.
Other symptoms appear only after reaching an advanced stage, including:
unexplained hoarseness that lasts more than a few weeks
sore throat or difficulty swallowing does not improve
a lump elsewhere on your neck
If you have a lump in your thyroid, it doesn’t mean you have thyroid cancer. About 1 in 20 thyroid nodules are cancerous.
Read more about thyroid cancer symptoms
The thyroid gland consists of 2 lobes located on either side of the windpipe. Its main purpose is to release hormones (chemicals that have a powerful effect on many different bodily functions).
The thyroid gland secretes 3 separate hormones.
Triiodothyronine is called T3
thyroxine – called T4
The hormones T3 and T4 help regulate the body’s metabolic rate (the rate of various processes in the body, such as how quickly it burns calories).
Excess T3 and T4 can make you feel hyperactive and cause weight loss. If you don’t have enough of these hormones, you can feel weak and gain weight.
Calcitonin helps control calcium levels in the blood. Calcium is a mineral that plays several important roles, including building strong bones.