The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ situated in the throat, near the trachea and larynx; its primary function is to produce and secrete hormones involved in our metabolism, or the process by which our bodies convert what we consume into energy.
According to the American Cancer Society, thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the United States. In fact, its incidence has tripled in the last thirty years, and experts believe this is likely due to the fact that specialists are more frequently making use of the thyroid ultrasound, which is able to catch small thyroid nodules that weren’t detectable before.
There are a number of signs you should look out for that could suggest that you have thyroid cancer, including:
- A hoarse voice
- Swollen glands in the neck
- A lump in the front of the neck, close to the Adam’s apple
- Pain in the neck or throat
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- A persistent cough not caused by a cold
It’s important to note that these symptoms could also be due to other conditions; you should see a doctor as soon as possible if you present with any of the above signs.