Symptoms and causes

The thyroid

The thyroid produces hormones from iodine and tyrosine. The thyroid hormones stimulate metabolism and growth.

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is the result of the thyroid hormone developing a malignant tumour. The main symptom of thyroid cancer is a swelling or lump in the neck, either self-detected or accidentally diagnosed. There are four important types of thyroid cancer:

  • papillary thyroid cancer
  • follicular thyroid cancer
  • medullary thyroid cancer
  • anaplastic thyroid cancer

The papillary and follicular forms of thyroid cancer are the most common. Together, they account for 90% of all thyroid cancers.

Diagnosis and treatment


Once a suspicious nodule is detected on an ultrasound, it is then necessary to perform a supplemental biopsy of the nodule for further diagnosis and to decide on treatment. Treatment for thyroid cancer may consist of oncological surgery or radioactive iodine.

Once there is suspicion of malignancy, a surgery is planned and possibly an additional treatment with radioactive iodine.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021