What Are the Signs of Thyroid Cancer in Women?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2015
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Among the common signs of thyroid cancer in women is a lump in the neck that is often uncomfortable to the touch. Difficulty swallowing and pain in the neck might also develop when a woman has thyroid cancer. She could also experience a hoarse-sounding voice and have swollen lymph nodes in her neck. As the thyroid is important for the regulation of hormones, a woman might also develop hormonal imbalances or even struggle with infertility as a result of this cancer. It is important to note, however, that a woman can have thyroid cancer without experiencing any symptoms — symptoms might not be evident in the earliest stages of the disease but could develop later.

One of the most common signs of thyroid cancer in women is a goiter. A goiter is swelling of the thyroid gland that is evident because of a lump that develops in the affected woman’s neck. The thyroid gland is small and positioned at the base of the neck, and healthy individuals aren't normally aware of its presence. When a woman has thyroid cancer, however, the gland becomes sensitive and swollen. For example, it may feel uncomfortable when something presses against this part of the neck, such as a hand or a high-collared shirt.


Many other signs of thyroid cancer in women are also focused on the neck area. For example, a woman with this type of cancer might notice a gradual change in the sound of her voice. Over time, it could grow more and more hoarse. An affected woman might also have some difficulty swallowing and notice that the lymph nodes in her neck seem swollen. Additionally, a woman who has thyroid cancer may eventually note that the discomfort in her neck has worsened into actual pain.

Hormonal imbalances can also develop as a complication of thyroid cancer in women. This is due to the fact that the thyroid gland produces hormones that influence many types of body processes. For example, the thyroid gland makes hormones that are important for blood pressure and heart rate regulation. The hormones the thyroid produces even play a role in woman’s ability to conceive and successfully carry a child.

The lack of signs of thyroid cancer in women doesn't necessarily mean an absence of cancer. Most women will not have signs of the disease when it is in an early stage. As the disease progresses, however, symptoms usually develop gradually.


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Post 4

Signs of thyroid problems in women and in men can be tough to pick up on. They can be confused with so many other illnesses. I have a friend who went for his regular yearly eye exam, and his eye doctor noticed something during the eye exam that made her think my friend might have a thyroid problem.

If I remember correctly, his eyes were bulging a bit and the nerves or some part of the eyes were not the same size in both eyes. Had it not been for this examination, my friend would have never known that he had an underactive thyroid.

Post 2

@Animandel - I think many people naturally think cancer when they have symptoms that can in anyway be linked to the disease. However, thyroid cancer is rare, so any thyroid symptoms you are experiencing are probably not going to be caused by cancer. And many of the cases of thyroid cancer occur in people who have had some type of radiation treatment in the past.

Post 1

A few years back, I started having a lot of mucus in my chest and throat. I also felt small knots in my neck. In addition to this, I was having dinner one night, and it felt like the food I was eating was not going down. I felt like everything was stopping in my neck, and I was having trouble swallowing.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn't go to the doctor's office right away. I knew there was something wrong, but I was hoping I would get better. The truth is that I was worried that I had a serious condition. Of course, cancer was one of the first diseases I thought might be causing

the thyroid symptoms.

After a week or so I went to the medical center. After taking a series of tests, I had to wait and wonder. It was a couple of days before I received the results. I was relieved to learn that I didn't have thyroid cancer. I had an inflamed thyroid that was leaking hormones. My condition wasn't serious, and I was all well in a couple of weeks, but I was really afraid for a while there.

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