Symptoms of thyroid cancer

In most people, thyroid cancer develops very slowly. The most common symptom of thyroid cancer is a painless lump in the neck that gradually gets bigger. However, most thyroid lumps are benign (non-cancerous).

Other symptoms include:

  • a hoarse voice, for no obvious reason, that doesn’t go away after a few weeks
  • difficulty swallowing – this can be caused by a thyroid tumour pressing on the gullet (oesophagus)
  • difficulty breathing – this can be caused by a thyroid tumour pressing on the windpipe (trachea).

If you notice a lump in your neck, or any of the above symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms can be caused by conditions other than cancer.