Metastatic thyroid cancer is the most advanced stage of this malignancy and occurs when cancer cells that originated in the thyroid gland spread to distant areas of the body. This particular type of cancer is most likely to spread to the lungs, bones, liver and sometimes the brain.
How do I know if I have metastatic thyroid cancer?
In many cases, thyroid cancer can be detected and diagnosed in an earlier stage, before it has metastasized to other areas of the body. The most telltale sign is a noticeable lump or nodule at the base of the neck. Other symptoms may include:
- Voice hoarseness
- Neck pain
- A persistent cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Voice changes
Advanced stages of thyroid cancer may produce additional symptoms, such as generalized fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and unexpected weight loss. However, you will need to consult with a medical professional to receive an accurate diagnosis, as many other conditions can cause similar symptoms. Your physician will be able to run any necessary tests to rule out or confirm thyroid cancer.
What happens if I have metastatic thyroid cancer?
If you’ve been diagnosed with metastatic thyroid cancer, it is important to seek out a cancer center that has a high level of experience treating advanced stages of this malignancy. At Moffitt Cancer Center, our multispecialty team includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, endocrinologists, interventional radiologists and many other experts who collaborate to provide our patients with the best possible treatment. Each patient at Moffitt receives an individualized treatment plan tailored to his or her needs. This plan may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of several approaches.