Skip to Main Content
Male patient discussing options with male physician

What is thyroid cancer?

Compared to other cancers, thyroid cancer is not very common. It affects the thyroid gland—a small butterfly-shaped organ in your neck that produces hormones that regulate your metabolism—and results from having malignant cells in this gland. There are several types of thyroid cancer, most of which are slow growing, but some can be more aggressive. Early detection through preventive screening can be helpful for those more at risk for thyroid or parathyroid cancer. 

What causes thyroid cancer?

While the exact cause of thyroid cancer is unknown, certain factors may increase a person's risk of developing this condition. By being aware of these risk factors, individuals can take steps to reduce their risk or seek early detection and treatment.

  • Family history of thyroid cancer
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Having a pre-existing thyroid condition
  • Age 60 or older 
  • Women


Thyroid cancer symptoms

Thyroid cancer often presents without symptoms in its early stages, making it difficult to detect. As thyroid cancer progresses, it can cause a range of symptoms that may be mistaken for other health problems. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak with your primary care provider to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate care.

  • A lump or swelling in the neck
  • Pain or discomfort in the neck or throat
  • Changes in voice, including hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck


Thyroid cancer screenings and diagnosis

Early detection of thyroid cancer is key to improving the chances of successful treatment and recovery. Screening for thyroid cancer involves a range of medical tests that can help detect any abnormal changes in the thyroid gland or surrounding areas.

  • Physical examination of the neck
  • Ultrasound
  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy


Thyroid cancer treatment

Treating thyroid cancer depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer, as well as your overall health and personal preferences. Fortunately, there are several effective treatment options available for thyroid cancer, including:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy

It is important to remember that every individual's experience with thyroid cancer is unique. If you have any concerns about your risk of developing thyroid cancer or are experiencing any symptoms, speak with your primary care provider to receive appropriate screening and treatment. Our team of oncologists at St. Luke’s Health will work with you to develop a personalized care plan.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. It often develops slowly and may not show any symptoms in its early stages. However, if left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body.

Cervical cancer risk factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. Some of the most common ones are:

  • HPV infection
  • Having the first full-term pregnancy before the age of 17
  • Having three or more full-term pregnancies
  • Long-term use of birth control pills
  • Smoking
  • Weak immune system
  • Family history

Cervical cancer symptoms

In the early stages, cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms. However, as the cancer grows and spreads, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause
  • Pain during sex
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Periods that are longer or heavier than normal

Cervical cancer screenings and diagnosis

Regular screening is crucial for detecting cervical cancer early, when it is most treatable. The following screening options are available:

Cervical cancer treatment

The treatment for cervical cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the woman's age and overall health, and whether she wants to have children in the future. Your oncologist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

If you or a loved one has concerns about cervical cancer, speak with an oncologist for more information. Our team of oncologists at St. Luke’s Health is trained to diagnose and treat cervical cancer and can provide you with personalized recommendations. Speak with your primary care provider about any questions or concerns you may have about cervical cancer, as early detection and treatment can greatly improve your chances of recovery.

Find a Doctor

Looking for a doctor? Perform a quick search by name or browse by specialty.

U.S. News & World Report

Home of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, U.S. News & World Report has accredited Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties, including previous accreditation for compassionate patient-centered cancer care.