Carolinas HealthCare System

Endocrine cancer includes cancers of the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, hypothalamus and certain parts of the pancreas. Because these glands are located in different parts of the body, cancer symptoms can vary widely. For example, cancer of hypothalamus may cause feelings of euphoria or being “high” and headaches, while a tumor on the adrenal glands may produce heart palpitations and high blood pressure.

The most common type of endocrine cancer is thyroid cancer, which may first be detected because of a lump in the neck or hoarseness of voice. Symptoms include:

  • A lump in the neck, sometimes growing quickly
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears
  • Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing

If you’re experiencing these or any other symptoms that seem unusual, see your doctor for a definitive diagnosis. Should you have thyroid or another type of endocrine cancer, early treatment can help improve your prognosis.