Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid gland sits at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It is small but important. It makes hormones (regulating chemicals) that help control heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. 

Cancer of the thyroid is not common. Experts don’t know what causes it. However, people who have gotten a lot of radiation (energy from X-rays of the head, neck or chest) have a greater chance of getting thyroid cancer. Women get thyroid cancer more often than men.

Doctors usually find thyroid cancer early, and the treatments work well. Most cases can be cured with surgery and often with radioactive iodine.

Treatment

At Penn State Cancer Institute, we diagnose and treat all types of head and neck cancers, including thyroid cancer. Our multidisciplinary team is made up of surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, and pathologists. We guide you through every step of your care.

Our surgeons may treat your cancer with complex or simple surgery, as needed. Your treatment may include radiation and/or chemotherapy

Our surgeons take part in conferences with other cancer specialists. We discuss the specifics of your case and - putting all our skill and experience together -create a treatment plan just for you.

Our advanced surgery techniques include:

If needed, we can also improve your appearance after surgery with state-of-the-art head and neck reconstruction.

Care Team

You may see one or more of the following specialists for your cancer treatment.
Salah Almokadem, DO, MBChB Salah Almokadem, DO, MBChB Medical Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Melissa Boltz, DO Melissa Boltz, DO Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Karen Choi, MD Karen Choi, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
David Goldenberg, MD David Goldenberg, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Diane Hershock, MD, PhD Diane Hershock, MD, PhD Medical Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Jessyka Lighthall, MD Jessyka Lighthall, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Heath Mackley, MD Heath Mackley, MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Marc Rovito, MD Marc Rovito, MD Hematology/Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Brian Saunders, MD Brian Saunders, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Guy Slonimsky Guy Slonimsky Surgeon
Leila Tchelebi, MD Leila Tchelebi, MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile

Locations

Penn State Cancer Institute

Penn State Cancer Institute

400 University Dr
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6585
Penn State Health Medical Group - Nyes Road Specialties

Penn State Health Medical Group - Nyes Road Specialties

121 N Nyes Rd
Suite C
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: 717-657-4045
Penn State Health Medical Group Camp Hill - Specialties

Penn State Health Medical Group Camp Hill - Specialties

3025 Market St
Entrance A
Camp Hill, PA 17011

Phone: 717-761-8900
Penn State Health Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery/Pediatric Surgery

Penn State Health Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery/Pediatric Surgery

200 Campus Dr
Suite 400 | Entrance 2
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6822

Clinical Trials

Groups, Classes and Support

Support groups offer an opportunity to connect with other patients, caregivers and families. Learn more about support groups offered at Penn State Cancer Institute.

Prevention and Screening

Doctors aren't sure what causes most cases of thyroid cancer, so we don’t know how to prevent it in people without much risk for the disease. 

We do know that people with certain inherited disorders have a greater chance of getting it. So do those who have gotten a lot of radiation to the head, neck or chest. People who have always eaten a diet low in iodine are also at risk. Other risk factors include a family history of thyroid cancer and chronic goiter (enlarged thyroid). 

Screening

There is no recommended screening test to find thyroid cancer early. Doctors find most early thyroid cancers when patients ask them to look at a neck lump. If you have a lump or swelling in your neck, you should see your doctor right away in case it is cancerous.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Thyroid cancer is a cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located inside the front of your lower neck.

Symptoms

Lumps in the thyroid are common and mostly noncancerous. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away:

  • A lump in the neck that sometimes grows quickly
  • Changes to your voice, hoarseness that persists
  • Pain and swelling in the neck or throat
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • A constant cough that is not from a cold

Diagnosis

First, your doctor will study your medical history and give you a physical exam. If you have a lump on your neck that your doctor suspects is cancer, he or she may test it with:

When discovered early, most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured.

Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid gland sits at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It is small but important. It makes hormones (regulating chemicals) that help control heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. 

Cancer of the thyroid is not common. Experts don’t know what causes it. However, people who have gotten a lot of radiation (energy from X-rays of the head, neck or chest) have a greater chance of getting thyroid cancer. Women get thyroid cancer more often than men.

Doctors usually find thyroid cancer early, and the treatments work well. Most cases can be cured with surgery and often with radioactive iodine.

At Penn State Cancer Institute, we diagnose and treat all types of head and neck cancers, including thyroid cancer. Our multidisciplinary team is made up of surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, and pathologists. We guide you through every step of your care.

Our surgeons may treat your cancer with complex or simple surgery, as needed. Your treatment may include radiation and/or chemotherapy

Our surgeons take part in conferences with other cancer specialists. We discuss the specifics of your case and - putting all our skill and experience together -create a treatment plan just for you.

Our advanced surgery techniques include:

If needed, we can also improve your appearance after surgery with state-of-the-art head and neck reconstruction.

You may see one or more of the following specialists for your cancer treatment.
Salah Almokadem, DO, MBChB Salah Almokadem, DO, MBChB Medical Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Melissa Boltz, DO Melissa Boltz, DO Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Karen Choi, MD Karen Choi, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
David Goldenberg, MD David Goldenberg, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Diane Hershock, MD, PhD Diane Hershock, MD, PhD Medical Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Jessyka Lighthall, MD Jessyka Lighthall, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Heath Mackley, MD Heath Mackley, MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Marc Rovito, MD Marc Rovito, MD Hematology/Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Brian Saunders, MD Brian Saunders, MD Surgeon View Researcher Profile
Guy Slonimsky Guy Slonimsky Surgeon
Leila Tchelebi, MD Leila Tchelebi, MD Radiation Oncologist View Researcher Profile
Penn State Cancer Institute

Penn State Cancer Institute

400 University Dr
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6585
Penn State Health Medical Group - Nyes Road Specialties

Penn State Health Medical Group - Nyes Road Specialties

121 N Nyes Rd
Suite C
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: 717-657-4045
Penn State Health Medical Group Camp Hill - Specialties

Penn State Health Medical Group Camp Hill - Specialties

3025 Market St
Entrance A
Camp Hill, PA 17011

Phone: 717-761-8900
Penn State Health Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery/Pediatric Surgery

Penn State Health Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery/Pediatric Surgery

200 Campus Dr
Suite 400 | Entrance 2
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-531-6822
Support groups offer an opportunity to connect with other patients, caregivers and families. Learn more about support groups offered at Penn State Cancer Institute.

Doctors aren't sure what causes most cases of thyroid cancer, so we don’t know how to prevent it in people without much risk for the disease. 

We do know that people with certain inherited disorders have a greater chance of getting it. So do those who have gotten a lot of radiation to the head, neck or chest. People who have always eaten a diet low in iodine are also at risk. Other risk factors include a family history of thyroid cancer and chronic goiter (enlarged thyroid). 

Screening

There is no recommended screening test to find thyroid cancer early. Doctors find most early thyroid cancers when patients ask them to look at a neck lump. If you have a lump or swelling in your neck, you should see your doctor right away in case it is cancerous.

Thyroid cancer is a cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located inside the front of your lower neck.

Symptoms

Lumps in the thyroid are common and mostly noncancerous. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away:

  • A lump in the neck that sometimes grows quickly
  • Changes to your voice, hoarseness that persists
  • Pain and swelling in the neck or throat
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • A constant cough that is not from a cold

Diagnosis

First, your doctor will study your medical history and give you a physical exam. If you have a lump on your neck that your doctor suspects is cancer, he or she may test it with:

When discovered early, most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured.