September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness month, and the expert physicians at Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland, TN are here to guide you and provide the tools you need to understand thyroid disease and cancer. Your thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck. Wrapping the trachea, the thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate your blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and weight.

When cells in your thyroid gland undergo changes (i.e. mutation), they can grow and multiply rapidly. This is how thyroid cancer develops.

When left unchecked and/or untreated, these abnormal cells can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

The signs and symptoms to watch out for
During the early stages, thyroid cancer may not show any sign or symptom. In fact, in many cases, thyroid cancer is only detected during a routine neck examination or during an image scan performed for other conditions.

For people who are symptomatic (showing signs and symptoms) and as the disease progresses, an unusual lump or swelling in the neck may be felt. Although most nodules in the neck are benign, it’s still best to see a doctor right away to rule out thyroid cancer.

Other early signs and symptoms to watch out for include hoarseness in voice, fatigue, swollen glands in the neck, and a persistent cough that’s not caused by colds.

In some cases, there can also be neck pain, difficulty in swallowing, and breathing problems.

If you experience ANY of these, schedule a doctor’s appointment right away. It’s better to err on the side of caution.

Before a diagnosis can be made, your doctor will perform a thorough physical check and will run some tests. This includes a tumor marker test that will check high levels of certain hormones.

Treating thyroid cancer
Treatment for thyroid cancer can vary, depending on the type and stage of thyroid cancer.

Our board certified surgeons at Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland, TN are experienced and trained in diagnosing and treating thyroid cancer.

Like other cancer types, there is a better treatment outcome for thyroid cancer if it’s detected and treated earlier. So, we highly recommend that you get checked right away if you have any of the signs and symptoms mentioned.

To request an appointment with a Premier Surgical physicians at one of our Knoxville or Cleveland offices, visit Request appointment | Premier Surgical Associates here.