The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland, which means it secretes hormones directly into the blood, that is typically located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid is tasked with producing thyroid hormones, which help the body use energy and stay warm. Thyroid hormones also ensure the brain, heart, muscles and other organs are functioning properly. When a person has thyroid cancer, which is relatively rare compared to other cancers, abnormal cells begin to grow in the thyroid gland, and this abnormal cell growth can lead to a variety of symptoms. A lump or swelling in the neck is the most common symptom of thyroid cancer, but pain in the neck, trouble swallowing and breathing troubles that may include constant wheezing are potential indicators as well. Five-year survival rates for thyroid cancer are very high, but men and women who detect any of the aforementioned symptoms should bring them to the attention of their physicians immediately, as early detection of cancer plays a role in the effectiveness of treatment.