Thyroid Cancer Cheat Sheet

In the United States, more than 33,000 women are diagnosed with thyroid cancer annually.  Risk factors and warning signs may include:

Risk Factors:

  • I am a woman (Women are almost three times more likely than men to develop thyroid cancer.)
  • I am between the ages of 25 and 65
  • I have been exposed to high levels of radiation, radioactive fallout/iodine and/or have had many x-rays
  • I have a family history of medullary thyroid cancer or thyroid disease
  • I have a family history of goiters or colon growths
  • I have a personal history of goiters or benign thyroid nodules


  • A lump in the front of the neck
  • Hoarseness or voice changes
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Pain in the throat or neck that does not go away

These symptoms can often be similar to other diseases and conditions. However, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away. You should discuss which of the following diagnostic tools may be appropriate for you: Blood tests, Needle Biopsy, Ultrasound.

Contact The National Women’s Health Information Center for information on health insurance coverage or free clinics. Visit or call 1-800-994-9662. 

Remember, early detection equals survival!

This information was provided by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

This information was reviewed by the Cancer Schmancer Medical Advisory Board.

Last updated: August 2010