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Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones.
It's most common in people in their 30s and those over the age of 60. Women are two to three times more likely to develop it than men.
Thyroid cancer is usually treatable and in many cases can be cured completely, although it can sometimes come back after treatment.
This page covers:
Symptoms of thyroid cancer can include:
Read more about the symptoms of thyroid cancer.
See your GP if you have symptoms of thyroid cancer. The symptoms can be caused by less serious causes, such as an enlarged thyroid (goitre), so it's important to get them checked out.
Your GP will examine your neck and can organise a blood test to check how well your thyroid is working.
If they think you could have cancer or they're not sure what's causing your symptoms, you'll be referred to a hospital specialist for more tests.
Read more about how thyroid cancer is diagnosed.
There are four main types of thyroid cancer:
Papillary and follicular carcinomas are sometimes known as differentiated thyroid cancers. They tend to be easier to treat than the other types.
Thyroid cancer occurs when a change to the DNA in the cells in the thyroid causes them to grow uncontrollably and produce a lump.
It's not usually clear what causes this, but there are a number of things that can increase your risk.
Treatment for thyroid cancer depends on the type of thyroid cancer you have and how far it has spread.
The main treatments are:
After treatment, you'll be advised to have regular appointments to check whether the cancer has come back.
Read more about how thyroid cancer is treated.
Overall, the outlook for thyroid cancer is good. Around 9 in every 10 people are alive five years after diagnosis. Many of these are cured and will have a normal lifespan.
But the outlook varies depending on the type of thyroid cancer and how early it was diagnosed.
The cancer comes back in another part of the body, such as the lungs or bones, in up to one in four people treated for thyroid cancer. But it can often be treated again if this happens.