Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Thyroid problems.

Thyroid problems.
beginning of content

Thyroid cancer

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer develops when abnormal cells in the thyroid gland grow and divide out of control, forming a tumour.

Doctors don’t yet know what causes thyroid cells to become cancerous, although exposure to radiation and certain genetic factors are known to increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer symptoms and signs

Thyroid cancer often develops slowly, and may have no obvious symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

These symptoms can be caused by other problems, so if you notice any of them see your doctor as soon as possible.

The diagnosis of thyroid cancer usually involves a physical examination, as well as tests such as blood tests, imaging such as an ultrasound or CT scan, biopsy and internal examination of the throat.

Thyroid cancer treatment

Most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured with treatment.

Usually, people with thyroid cancer need surgery, either to remove their entire thyroid gland (total thyroidectomy) or a part of it (partial or hemi-thyroidectomy). Sometimes it’s also necessary to remove nearby lymph nodes.

Other treatments include thyroid hormone replacement therapy (medication to replace the hormones the thyroid can no longer produce), and radioactive iodine treatment (used to destroy any cancer remaining after surgery). Some people also need chemotherapy, targeted drug therapies or external radiotherapy.

Last reviewed: November 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 102 results

Thyroid cancer | Cancer Australia

What is thyroid cancer? Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells within the thyroid gland grow in an uncontrolled way.

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid) | myVMC

Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid) may be of the Anaplastic type and usually arise from the follicular cells located between the thyroid follicles, which are responsible for production of calcitonin

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Thyroid Cancers - Information, Treatment & Support - CanTeen

Thyroid cancers affect the gland in the body that is responsible for the hormones that keep us active. Learn more about causes and treatments with CanTeen.

Read more on CanTeen website

What is Thyroid Cancer? - Cancer Council Victoria

On this page: The thyroid gland | Thyroid hormones | What is thyroid cancer? | What types are there? | What are the signs and symptoms? | What are the risk factors? | How common is it? | Key points

Read more on Cancer Council Victoria website

Thyroid cancer fact sheet | Cancer Australia

An overview of thyroid cancer including types, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and finding support.

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Thyroid Cancer (Follicular Cell of the Thyroid) | myVMC

Follicular cell of the thyroid is a cancer that affects the follicular cells of the thyroid, a gland that produces energy-regulating hormones.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Medullary Cell of the Thyroid | myVMC

Medullary cell of the thyroid accounts for 10% of all thyroid cancers. It is a hereditary cancer associated with good cure rates from surgical treatment.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Papillary Cell of the Thyroid | myVMC

Papillary cell of the thyroid is a type of thyroid cancer which affects the large lobes. More common in females it may produce a painless lump in the neck.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Medullary thyroid carcinoma - Lab Tests Online AU

Site map of article content

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Thyroglobulin - Lab Tests Online AU

Why and when to get tested for thyroglobulin

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback