Medical Awareness >>   Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer


Thyroid cancer is a rare cancer type affecting the thyroid gland. The thyroid generates hormones to regulate the heartbeat, blood pressure, temperature of the body and weight.

There are several types of thyroid cancer - some grow very slowly, and others can be really aggressive. Most thyroid cancer types can be corrected with treatment.

A lump in the thyroid gland doesn't necessarily mean thyroid cancer; only about 1 in 20 thyroid lumps are cancerous.


Thyroid cancer tends to cause no or very few symptoms in its early stages. The main sign of thyroid cancer is usually a painless lump or swelling at the front of the neck.

It can also affect the lymph nodes in the neck and cause swelling. 

Other symptoms are visible only after the condition has reached an advanced stage and may involve:

  • unexplained hoarseness that lasts long
  • a sore throat or difficulty swallowing that doesn't cure
  • a lump elsewhere in the neck


Treatments for thyroid cancer depend on the size of the tumour and whether the cancer has spread. Treatments involve:

  • Surgery: Depending on the size of the tumour and place, surgery removes parts or all of the thyroid gland. It also removes the nearby lymph nodes where cancer has spread.
  • Radioiodine therapy involves swallowing a higher dose of radioactive iodine in the form of a pill/liquid. The radioiodine shrinks and slays the diseased thyroid gland along with cancer cells. It is a safe procedure - the thyroid gland absorbs almost all of the radioiodine. The remaining body has minimal radiation exposure.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation exterminates cancer cells and prevents them from growing. 
  • Chemotherapy: This procedure drugs destroy cancer cells and stop their growth. 
  • Hormone therapy: This treatment blocks the discharge of hormones that can cause cancer to grow or return back.

Fact Sheet

Number: As per studies, the thyroid cancer cases in India are around 5000 to 6000 patients.

PGC Resolution: Building knowledge, developing attitudes, spreading awareness, and advancing treatments regarding thyroid cancer in the country.