When people hear about testing for cancer, they think about regular mammograms to detect breast cancer early or visiting the dermatologist to check for skin cancer. However, it is quite rare to hear someone thinking about the possibility of getting thyroid cancer, yet the rates of its occurrence have been skyrocketing. There are certain signs that can help you be on the lookout for this cancer and get an early diagnosis, giving you a better chance of recovery.
A lump in the neck
If when you feel your neck you can sense that there is a lump which is not usually located there, you need to get a doctor to check it. Sometimes, the cancer could be spreading slowly and when it does, it affects the lymph nodes, placing the swelling on the side of the neck as opposed to the front. The lump could also be accompanied by swelling and pain in the neck, but there are people who experience no pain at all.
Problems when swallowing
Another problem to look out for is difficulty to swallow. As the mass in the neck continues to enlarge, it interferes with the normal function of the gut. This could lead to serious problems when trying to swallow food. It is important to note that the swelling could be caused by something benign like a cold or flu, however, when the swelling does not go down after a few weeks, you need to see a doctor for a check-up.
Changes in voice
As the growth gets bigger, it will affect the vocal chords. The voice box is located right on top of the thyroid, which means it will be directly affected by the swelling. Also, as the lump grows, it causes changes in hormones which could make the voice hoarse. If you notice that you have a chronic hoarseness in your voice, you need to stop looking for home remedies and get tested for thyroid cancer.
Other indicators of thyroid cancer are having problems speaking, eating and breathing. These are complications which occur when the cancer is already advanced. The treatment options which are available for thyroid cancer depend on the size of the tumour and how long you have had it. Visit a local health care clinic to speak with a doctor about any symptoms you've been experiencing. He or she can test for thyroid cancer and recommend what you should do next.