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What is Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is the most rare and lethal form of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, which is a small gland located in the front part of your neck, that creates some crucial hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4); which are responsible for maintaining the body metabolism regulation. This type of cancer usually affects older people and can grow alarmingly fast and spread very rapidly through the lymph node, causing early metastases most of the time.

Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Unlike almost all other thyroid cancers, ATC usually have symptoms, which are present due to its incredibly rapid grow rate and local invasion. Some of the symptoms presented include:

  • A lump sensation in the front part of your neck.
  • Difficulty to swallow.
  • Hoarseness and voice changes.
  • Swollen lymph nodes around the thyroid.

Frequently, people can also present some symptoms related to distant metastases in the lungs, bones, and liver.