Thyroid cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. The thyroid gland, located just below the Adam's apple, produces hormones which regulate the metabolism of the body.
There are four types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary and anaplastic. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the most difficult to identify and control because of the cancer cells' rapid growth and spread. Fortunately it is also the least common.
Thyroid cancer symptoms include a lump that can be felt in the neck, difficulty swallowing, coughing, raspiness or hoarseness in the voice, neck pain and swollen lymph nodes.
Doctors will perform blood tests, a biopsy, larygoscopy, ultrasound and an MRI to determine if the patient has thyroid cancer.
Papillary and follicular cancers are the most common forms of thyroid cancer and are frequently treated successfully.
Less common, about 5 to 10 percent of cases, is medullary thyroid cancer. If discovered early it is very treatable.