To speak to a specialist cancer nurse,
freefone the National Cancer Helpline
1800 200 700
Mon—Thurs 9am—7pm Fri 9am—5pm
Your thyroid is a gland at the base of your neck, just below your Adam´s apple. It sits on top of your windpipe and below your voicebox (larynx). It is shaped like a butterfly because the gland is in two halves. They are connected by a narrow bridge of thyroid tissue called the isthmus. The two halves are called the lobes of the thyroid.
Your thyroid makes hormones that keep your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight at the right levels.
Your thyroid needs a regular supply of iodine to make these hormones. Iodine is mainly found in fish, seafood and dairy products.
Thyroid cancer happens when cells in your thyroid change and start to grow in an abnormal way. A group of these cancer cells can form a tumour. A malignant tumour is also known as cancer. If a malignant tumour is not treated, it will affect how your thyroid works. There are five main types of thyroid cancer:
Thyroid cancer is a rare cancer that affects people who are middle aged or older. It is more common in women than men. Thyroid cancer seems to be getting more common in recent years. Doctors believe this is because new technology lets them find small thyroid cancers that were harder to find before.
In 2009 in Ireland there were 154 people diagnosed with thyroid cancer and it is more common in women than men.
Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse
It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm