Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer develops when the cells of the thyroid gland grow and divide in a disorderly way.

The four main types of thyroid cancer are: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic. 

Read more about thyroid cancer.



Thyroid cancer symptoms

Thyroid cancer usually develops slowly, without many obvious symptoms.

  • The most common symptom is a painless lump in the neck or throat which may gradually get bigger.
  • You may also experience hoarseness and difficulty swallowing or breathing.


Some people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer when they visit their doctor for another reason. 

Read more about the symptoms of thyroid cancer.



Thyroid cancer statistics

  • There are about 2500 cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed in Australia each year. About 780 new cases of thyroid cancer are in NSW.
  • This cancer type accounts for 2.1% of all cancers.
  • It is the eighth most common cancer in women and 19th for men.
  • Almost half of all new cases of thyroid cancer occur in people younger than 50.



The aim of this information is to help you understand about thyroid cancer. We cannot advise you about the best treatment for you. You need to discuss this with your doctors. However, we hope this information will answer some of your questions and help you think about the questions you would like to ask your doctors or other health carers.