Thyroid Cancer Prevention

Risk Factors are Clear

We don’t know the exact cause of thyroid cancer. We do know that some things increase your risk. Most are beyond your personal control.

Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors

These factors can put you at greater risk. Talk with your doctor if any of them apply to you.
  • Radiation exposure: Those at highest risk were exposed to:
    • X-rays as children from the 1920s to the 1960s
    • Radioactive fallout from nuclear disasters
    • Radiation or radioactive materials in the work place
    • Routine chest and dental X-rays use very low doses of radiation. But you still may want to talk with your doctor or dentist about shielding your neck when you receive X-rays.
  • Family history of thyroid cancer
  • Personal history of large goiter or enlarged benign thyroid nodules
  • Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid cancer.
  • Age: Thyroid cancer can happen at any age, but most people with thyroid cancer are over age 45.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

Thyroid cancer often does not have symptoms – especially in the early stages. The following symptoms may happen as the cancer grows. If you have any of these symptoms that don’t go away in a few weeks, see your doctor.
  • Hoarseness or voice changes
  • Lump in the front of the neck
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing