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Presentation of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid lumps form more than one third of the cases seen in patients with neck lumps. The main presentation of thyroid cancer is with simple NON symptomatic lump in the lower part of the neck. The lump that moves up with swallowing in the lower part of the neck is in the majority of thyroid origin. This test can be conducted by the patient by feeling on the lump and swallowing, if the lump moves up on swallowing, it is likely to be thyroid in origin. In the normal circumstance, the thyroid gland should not be easily felt.

Effects of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid lumps that are cancerous in general feel hard and may be more fixed to the surrounding tissue because it may have invaded the surrounding structures. Thyroid cancer can also present with other symptoms such as hoarse of voice (due to the voice nerve destruction), breathing difficult (due to underlying wind pipe obstruction by the gland or chest mass), swallowing discomfort (due to the size of the mass) or a upper neck swellings (due to spread of the tumour to the neck lymph glands).

Although the majority of the thyroid lumps that are encountered are non-cancerous, it is important to make an accurate diagnosis which is a combination of clinical findings, scan findings and biopsy (usually a needle biopsy or may need biopsy by surgery).

Risk of Surgery for Thyroid Cancer

When thyroid surgery is needed, the main risk other then the infection and bleeding which is common to all surgeries, will be related to the anatomical structure of the thyroid gland.

•   Parathyroid Glands
  Head & Neck Cancer
  Larynx (Voice Box) Cancer
  Nasopharynx Cancer
  Mouth & Throat Cancer
  Upper Neck Lumps

  Allergy & Rhinology
  Children ENT Surgery
  Ear Surgery
  General ENT
  Head & Neck Cancer Surgery


There is usually some pain over the neck wound incision, although this is less that most patients expect.

LUKE TAN | ENT-Head & Neck Cancer And Thyroid Surgery Centre

3 Mount Elizabeth, (ORCHARD)
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre,
Suite 14-17
, Singapore 228510

Tel: +65 6474 6116
Fax: +65 6737 0816

Emergency Tel: +65 6535 8833