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Thyroid Cancer Medical Negligence Solicitors - Compensation Claim Lawyers


The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that is found in the neck, near the base of the throat. This gland has two lobes on the right and left, and is responsible for producing certain hormones. The thyroid makes use of iodine to produce several different hormones. These hormones regulate many necessary processes of the body such as blood pressure, metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, as well as manage the nervous systems, organs and muscles. The thyroid is also one of the major contributors to growth and development in children. Late diagnosis or mis-diagnosis of thyroid cancer due to failure to recognise symptoms may be due to medical negligence and give rise to a personal injury compensation claim for damage and loss.

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Thyroid cancer is an illness that causes the cells of the thyroid gland to grow at a rapid pace that cannot be controlled, become abnormal and form masses known as tumours. Depending on how these abnormal cells appear under microscopic examination, the cancer is categorized as one of four types: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. These types of cancers grow at different paces, and if left untreated can spread to other areas of the body.


    Papillary thyroid cancer accounts for most cases of the disease, between sixty to eighty percent of all cases, is slow growing, and begins in the iodine containing hormone producing cells.


    Follicular thyroid cancer is the second most common type of the disease, accounting for thirty to fifty percent of all cases. This form also begins in the hormone producing cells of the thyroid.


    Medullary thyroid cancer makes up approximately five to seven percent of all cases of thyroid cancer and begins in the clacitonin producing parafollicular cells, also called C cells. This hormone does not contain any iodine.


    Anaplastic thyroid cancer makes up approximately two percent of all cases of the disease. It is the fastest, most aggressive form of thyroid cancer.


In most cases, cancer of the thyroid develops at a slow pace, with the main symptom being swelling of the neck in the area where the gland is found. Other symptoms may be present including difficulty swallowing which happens because of the windpipe or gullet being pressed on by the tumor. The general function of the thyroid gland is not usually affected when there is a tumour and people with an underactive or overactive thyroid gland are no more prone to developing cancer. Since there are few definitive symptoms, misdiagnosis of this condition is somewhat common. Late diagnosis or mis-diagnosis of thyroid cancer due to failure to recognise the symptoms may be due to medical negligence and give rise to a personal injury compensation claim for damage and loss.


In order to gain a strong diagnosis of thyroid cancer, the following is usually necessary:

  • Blood Work: Blood tests can help to identify thyroid cancer by determining the thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) levels in a patient. These levels can be a sign of cancer.
  • Biopsy and Fine Needle Aspiration: A medical professional will use a small, thin needle to penetrate the swollen area of the neck, typically with the assistance of an ultrasound, to obtain a tissue sample that will be examined in a laboratory.
  • Even though most types of thyroid cancers are slow growing, it is critical that they be diagnosed as early as possible for the possible chance of a successful recovery.

Thyroid Cancer Medical Negligence Solicitors

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a thyroid cancer misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. One of our medical negligence personal injury solicitors can help you throughout every phase of the process and can handle your case on a no win no fee* basis. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. Please use the contact form on this website, email, or call today to more information on how we can help.

Thyroid Cancer Overview

Thyroid cancer is an unfortunate disease of the cancer. In thyroid cancer, abnormal cells develop due to changes in the DNA of various types of cells in the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a small gland in the front of the neck that is shaped like a butterfly. Its normal job is to make T4 and T3, which are the major thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are responsible for many cellular activities, including cellular metabolism. Without the thyroid gland, we would feel and be cold due to lack of cellular heat. The thyroid gland is responsible for your energy level on a cellular level as well.

Thyroid cancer is not a common form of cancer. Fortunately, few people die of the disease, especially when they are treated quickly and properly treated. Even so, when it is treated, it is possible for it to come back again.

Doctors do not know exactly what causes thyroid cancer. They do know that unexpected changes in the DNA cause cells to grow out of control. They form tumours and parts of the tumours can travel to nearby lymph nodes and other body areas. The DNA changes in the cells can be hereditary. Things like excessive radiation exposure can contribute to thyroid cancer. It has to be a lot of radiation, such as that seen in radiation to the neck for other reasons. Dental x-rays aren�t strong enough to cause radiation-induced thyroid cancer. It is usually radiation done for cancer in the head and neck.

Symptoms of thyroid cancer include any of the following:

  • There may be a swelling or a lump in the neck area that is seen by the doctor or by the patient.
  • There can be difficulty swallowing, especially if the lump is near the throat.
  • There can be pain in the neck.
  • There may be pain radiating to the ears.
  • You may begin to wheeze or notice that you�re having trouble breathing.
  • You may develop a hoarse voice.
  • You may feel like you are having recurrent coughing but that it is not attached to having a cold.

Some patients may be completely asymptomatic and might simply have their doctor notice a lump in the neck at the time of a regular examination.

Once the thyroid nodule is noticed, an ultrasound or CT scan can be done to see if the nodule is solid or cystic. It is the solid nodule that one would worry about. It can be biopsied using an ultrasound and a needle which will take up some thyroid cells and evaluate them for cancer. With the biopsy, the doctor will be able to tell what kind of cancer the patient has.

There is papillary thyroid cancer, which makes up 70-80 percent of all thyroid cancers. There is also follicular thyroid cancer, which makes up between 10-15 percent of all thyroid cancer. It is seen in women 3 times more often than in men. Medullary thyroid cancer is seen in 5-10 percent of all thyroid cancers. It tends to run in families and is seen in other endocrine disorders. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is extremely rare, affecting less than 5 percent of all thyroid cases. It usually occurs in those people who are older than 65 years of age. It doesn�t have a good prognosis.

Thyroid cancer is treated with a variety of modalities. Radioactive iodine is often used because the thyroid gland takes up iodine very well. It essentially puts radiation exactly where it is needed. This means that external beam radiation is not usually needed. Chemotherapy is not often used either as it is not as helpful with this form of cancer. Treatment depends on the stage of the disease and one treatment will be to dissect and remove the lymph nodes around the thyroid gland. The thyroid will almost always be removed at some point in the therapy.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here