Thyroid cancer is successfully treated in many people, and although any cancer diagnosis is worrying, there's generally a good outlook with this particular type. In order to get treatment, however, you first need to know you have it, and some of the symptoms may not seem serious at first. For example, an ongoing sore throat or a hoarse voice aren't things that always send people running to the doctor.
It's also helpful to know if you're in one of the groups with an increased thyroid cancer risk, as you can pay more attention to your body and look out for the signs of cancer. Here are some of the people with a greater chance of thyroid cancer.
It's not yet fully understood why women develop thyroid cancer more often than men, but it's likely there's a link to female hormones. Whatever the reason behind it, it's worth being a little bit more alert to possible symptoms if you're female, so you can act quickly if you suspect a thyroid problem.
People in certain age groups
There are two separate age groups with people who have a higher risk of thyroid cancer. The first is those in their 30s, who are slightly more likely to develop it. After that, your risk is increased again when you reach 60, with those at this age and above being the main group of people to get anaplastic thyroid cancer, a specific type of the disease.
People who are classified as medically obese have a greater chance of developing a number of diseases, thyroid cancer being one of them. The good news here is that, unlike other risk factors, you can work towards making changes to keep yourself safe. If you're struggling, talk to your doctor about getting some extra help.
People with a genetic link to the disease
Thyroid cancer can run in families, so if you have any close relatives who have ever had it, you may be more likely to get it yourself. Knowing a little about the medical history of your parents and other close family members can be a useful way to understand what risks you have for various conditions.
Although there are various factors that can increase the risk, people of any sex can develop thyroid cancer is almost any age, even if they're fit and healthy and have no family history of it. If you notice anything unusual about your neck and throat area, it's never a good idea to ignore it or assume it's nothing serious.