The thyroid is a ductless gland at the base of the neck that secretes hormones that regulate many bodily functions including metabolism and growth. An overactive thyroid can lead to various conditions including thyroid cancer, though not all thyroid growths are malignant. Cancers that develop in the thyroid include follicular, papillary, medullary, anaplastic, and hurthle cell cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the incidence of thyroid cancer has tripled over the past 30 years.
Unfortunately, thyroid cancer is one of many diseases that can be devoid of any symptoms in the early stages, while the body continues to correct hormonal fluctuations caused by malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. As you will see from the signs of thyroid cancer, even when a person becomes symptomatic, many of the effects can easily be mistaken for a mild illness. This can sometimes cause delays in diagnosis.
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