The thyroid gland is a part of the endocrine system. The endocrine system produces hormones that regulate the normal functions of the body. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the throat. It has a left and right lobe. The isthmus is the part of the thyroid gland where the lobes connect.
Surgery can be a good choice for thyroid cancer that has come back. Success depends in part on the size of your tumor and where it’s located
Remove lymph nodes in the neck if the cancer has come back there.
• Neck lump. A single lump on the front of the neck is the most common symptom. It’s often discovered during a routine physical exam. But research has shown that once the lump is detected, the cancer has typically already spread to the neck lymph nodes. The American Cancer Society recommends that doctors examine the thyroid during routine physical exams. Some doctors recommend annual neck self-exams twice a year to feel for unusual growths. Lumps in the thyroid area and neck are usually benign, but if you notice unusual swelling in your neck, contact your doctor immediately.
• Neck pain. Pain in the front of the neck may be related to the growth of a thyroid tumor. This pain can also extend to the ears.
• Hoarseness. The nerve that controls your vocal cords runs alongside the trachea near the thyroid. If cancer has spread to that vocal cord, it can affect the quality of your voice.
• Coughing. Thyroid cancer can sometimes cause a persistent cough. You should see your doctor if you have a cough that’s unrelated to a cold or one that doesn’t go away.
• Shortness of breath (dyspnea). Similar to trouble swallowing, if a thyroid tumor is large enough, it can push against the windpipe and interfere with breathing.