Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland makes important hormones that help the body function normally.

Asian people have an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer also occurs more often in people between the ages of 25 and 65 years and people who have been exposed to radiation or received radiation treatments to the head and neck during infancy or childhood. People who have had a goiter (enlarged thyroid) or a family history of thyroid disease have an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer as well.

A doctor should be seen if there is a lump or swelling in the front of the neck or in other parts of the neck.

Some types of thyroid cancer grow faster than others. The chance of recovery (prognosis) depends on the type of thyroid cancer, whether it is in the thyroid only or has spread to other parts of the body (stage), and the patient’s age and overall health. The prognosis is better for patients younger than 40 years who have cancer that has not spread beyond the thyroid.

Our patients with thyroid cancer are treated in the Head and Neck Cancer Unit and the Endocrine Surgery Unit. See the Head and Neck Cancer Unit or Endocrine Surgery Unit for more information.