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Thyroid Cancer: Overview and Risk Factors

Thyroid cancer is fairly uncommon, accounting for less than 1 percent of all cancers. However, it has appeared more often during the past half-century, possibly the result of radiation therapy to the head and neck used to treat childhood conditions in the mid-20th century.

The most common symptom is a lump in the neck. Other symptoms that could signal thyroid cancer include hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes.

Risk Factors

  • Female gender: Nearly three-fourths of thyroid cancers occur in women, making this cancer the eighth most common cancer in females.
  • Radiation exposure: Head and neck radiation, especially during infancy, is a strong risk factor.
  • Genetics: Relatives of thyroid cancer patients have a 10 times greater risk.


Thyroid Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment >>