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What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer develops in the thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck. This gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism. Thyroid hormones also help control your body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Thyroid cancer, a type of endocrine cancer, is generally highly treatable with an excellent cure rate.

What are the types of thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is classified based on the type of cells from which cancer grows. Thyroid cancer types include:

What causes thyroid cancer?

Experts aren’t sure why some cells become cancerous (malignant) and attack the thyroid. Certain factors, such as radiation exposure, a diet low in iodine, and faulty genes, can increase risk.

What are the symptoms of thyroid cancer?

You or your healthcare provider might feel a lump or growth in your neck called a thyroid nodule. Don’t panic if you have a thyroid nodule. Most nodules are benign (not cancer). Only about three out of 20 thyroid nodules turn out to be cancerous (malignant). Other signs of thyroid cancer include:

How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?

If you have an enlarged thyroid nodule or other signs of thyroid cancer, your healthcare provider may order one or more of these tests:

How is thyroid cancer managed or treated?

Treatments for thyroid cancer depend on the tumor size and whether cancer has spread or include  thyroid cancer drugs. Treatments include:

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