What Is It?
Thyroid cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly. It is located under the Adam's apple in the front of the neck. Most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured.
One of the functions of the thyroid gland is to make thyroid hormone, which requires iodine. The gland collects iodine from foods, concentrates it, and produces thyroid hormone. Doctors often exploit this important function when treating thyroid cancer.
Thyroid hormone helps regulate the body's metabolism and energy level. An overactive thyroid can lead to hyperactivity, the "jitters," and an irregular heart rhythm; an underactive thyroid, fatigue and sluggishness. Cancer can affect the thyroid and cause these changes.