Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is uncommon. It’s more likely to affect people in their 30s or over the age of 60, and is much more common in women than in men. It can be treated, but sometimes comes back.

 

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer affects the small gland at the base of the neck. The job of the gland is to produce hormones that help control your metabolic rate and the amount of calcium in your blood.

There are four main types of thyroid cancer. The most common, and easiest to treat, is papillary carcinoma. Other types include:

  • Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma
  • Follicular carcinoma
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma
  •  

Causes of thyroid cancer

The exact cause of thyroid cancer is not yet known. You’re more at risk if you:

  • Are very overweight
  • Have a bowel condition called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Have a condition called acromegaly where the body makes too much growth hormone
  • Have a family history of thyroid cancer
  • Have other thyroid conditions such as an inflamed thyroid
  • Were exposed to radiation such as radiation therapy when you were a child

Symptoms of thyroid cancer

A constantly sore throat

A painless lump in the neck that may grow quickly

A persistently hoarse voice

Breathing difficulties

Swollen glands in the neck

Trouble swallowing

Having some of these symptoms doesn’t mean you have thyroid cancer. They might be a sign of something less serious but if you’re worried, arrange to see your doctor.

Tests and diagnosis

Your doctor will discuss your symptoms with you. They may arrange for some tests such as:

  • A blood test
  • Ultrasound scan
  • Biopsy – a tiny sample of tissue is removed for analysis
  • CT scan (if the biopsy shows the lump is cancerous)
  • MRI scan

Treatments we offer

Treatments for thyroid cancer include surgery, radioactive iodine, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Your specialist doctor will discuss the options with you.
 
 

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Read more

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Read more

Meet our doctors

Everything we do is focused on designing better care for our patients. With a network of 12 specialist oncology treatment centres across the UK, we provide the most up-to-date treatments and technology as standard.

We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of different types of cancer.

Meet our doctors

Search for a centre near you

Maidstone

17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

maidstone.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

birmingham.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Nottingham

The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

nottingham.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Portsmouth

Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

portsmouth.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Guildford

BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3XL

guildford.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Southampton

Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

southampton.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

chelmsford.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

elstree.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Oxford

Sandy Lane West, Peters Way, Oxford, OX4 6LB

oxford.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

miltonkeynes.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Newmarket

The Oaks, Fordham Road, Newmarket, CB8 7XN

newmarket.enquiries@genesiscare.com

Windsor

69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

windsor.enquiries@genesiscare.com