Anaplastic thyroid cancer: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

* Cough
* Coughing up blood
* Difficulty swallowing
* Hoarseness or changing voice
* Loud breathing
* Lower neck mass, often noted to be enlarging

Diagnosis & Tests

A physical examination may show a neck mass.

* A CT scan or MRI may show a tumor growing from the thyroid gland.
* A thyroid biopsy shows anaplastic carcinoma.
* An examination of the airway with a fiberoptic scope (laryngoscopy) may show a paralyzed vocal cord.
* An isotope study of the thyroid (thyroid scan) shows this mass to be “cold,” meaning it does not absorb the isotope.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer: Overview, Causes

Anaplastic thyroid cancer: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Anaplastic thyroid cancer: Treatment

Review Date : 4/29/2009
Reviewed By : Deborah Wexler, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Endocrinologist, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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