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Thyroid cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the thyroid gland, located at the base of the throat. The thyroid gland has two lobes, one on the right side and one on the left. It makes important hormones that help the body function normally.

A person who has a lump or swelling in the front of the neck or in other parts of the neck should see a doctor. If there are symptoms, the doctor will feel the patient’s thyroid and check for lumps in the neck.

The doctor may order blood tests and special scans to see whether a lump in the thyroid is making too many hormones. The doctor may want to take a small amount of tissue from the thyroid, which is called a biopsy. To do this, a small needle is inserted into the thyroid at the base of the throat and some tissue is drawn out. The tissue is then studied under a microscope to see whether it contains cancer.

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