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Thyroid Cancer

Summary

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It makes hormones that help the body work normally. There are several types of cancer of the thyroid gland. You are at greater risk if you

  • Are between ages 25 and 65
  • Are a woman
  • Are Asian
  • Have a family member who has had thyroid disease
  • Have had radiation treatments to your head or neck

You should see a doctor if you have a lump or swelling in your neck. Doctors use a physical exam, thyroid tests, other blood and imaging tests, and a biopsy to diagnose thyroid cancer. Treatment depends on the type of cancer you have and how far the cancer has spread. Many patients receive a combination of treatments. They may include surgery, radioactive iodine, hormone treatment, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
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  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Symptoms

  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Calcitonin Test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
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  • CEA Test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
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  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • PTEN Genetic Test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • Thyroglobulin From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone) test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • Tumor Marker Tests From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
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Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) - PDF
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (American Thyroid Association) Also in
  • (American Thyroid Association) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Living With

  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Thyroid Association) - PDF Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Images

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Cancer Society)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Find an Expert

  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • (American Thyroid Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Children

  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)

Patient Handouts