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How does thyroid cancer affect the body?

Thyroid cancer mostly affects the thyroid gland, which produces important hormones. Normally, the hormones produced by the thyroid regulate important body functions like digestion, heart rate, and body temperature. However, thyroid cancer causes abnormal growth of thyroid cells, which can cause tumors to form in the neck and on the thyroid gland. This affects the production and regulation of the thyroid hormones, which causes problems throughout the body.

Michael W. Yeh, MD
Surgery
The main part of the body affected by thyroid cancer is the neck. Most thyroid cancers are discovered as a lump in the lower middle portion of the neck.Sometimes these are discovered by the patient, and more frequently they may be found on a routine physical examination or a scan of the neck.In a fraction of patients, thyroid cancer may move to neck lymph nodes and show up as a lump in the side of the neck.A rapidly growing thyroid cancer can cause pressure and discomfort in the neck, and some men may note difficulty in buttoning a collared shirt.Symptoms of advanced thyroid cancer include trouble breathing, a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, and even bone pain if the cancer has moved to the bones.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.