You won’t be able to feel most thyroid cancer lumps—the soreness is more likely to come from one of these reasons for neck pain. “Hardly any are painful or uncomfortable,” says Dr. Tuttle. But in rare cases, the nodules can hurt. The pain would start in the front of your neck, and sometimes even travel all the way up to your ears, according to the American Cancer Society. If you’re cancer-free, try these stiff neck remedies instead.
Even when you aren’t swallowing or speaking, thyroid cancer symptoms could make it hard to breathe. With anaplastic thyroid cancer—a very rare form that makes up only about 1 percent of thyroid cancer cases—nodules grow quickly. As the lump gets bigger, it could push against the windpipe and nerves, says Dr. Smallridge. You might feel short of breath when you aren’t active, especially when lying flat. Learn how to tell if your breathing issues are actually a sign of lung disease.