Thyroid cancer is poorly symptomatic and often diagnosed following the discovery of a nodule. In the early stages of the disease, thyroid cancer causes a few specific symptoms, which can alarm and lead to a doctor. This is why these cancers are often diagnosed during a thyroid checkup or after palpation of the neck.
Thyroid cancers are mainly manifested by the appearance of a palpable nodule in the neck. This nodule is usually neither painful nor embarrassing. A change of voice (which becomes hoarse) or the appearance of goiter can also constitute warning signals.
However, these different symptoms most often correspond to benign and non-cancerous diseases of the thyroid. Complementary examinations must, therefore, be carried out to find out their origin and to establish a diagnosis.
Without treatment, the thyroid tumors enlarge and can invade the lymph nodes that drain the thyroid. The tumor cells can then reach more distant ganglia and lead to the formation of metastases.
In practice, papillary cancers easily extend to the ganglia, but they rarely lead to the formation of metastases. Follicular cancers mainly give bone and lung metastases.