The thyroid is a gland located in the front of the neck, below the larynx (voice box). It produces hormones that regulate various important metabolic processes in the body.
Thyroid cancer is the abnormal growth of tissue in the thyroid gland. This growth is called a nodule and develops when the cells in the thyroid gland divide uncontrollably to produce extra tissue. These nodules can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Thyroid nodules need to be carefully evaluated and diagnosed in order to tell the difference between benign nodules (most thyroid nodules) and malignant ones. The malignant types of thyroid cancers include:
- Anaplastic carcinoma
- Follicular carcinoma
- Medullary carcinoma
- Papillary carcinoma