Thyroid cancer is the second most common cancer among women in Cyprus and the sixth in men, the Cyprus cancer patients’ association (Pasykaf) said on Monday.

Figures show 35-to-59-year-olds are the demographic most frequently stuck by the disease, which is completely curable in most cases, making early diagnosis paramount.

Thyroid cancer is not just a physical condition but affects mental health too, the association said, with anxiety, depression, mood swings, fatigue and low energy levels.

The emotional turmoil, often hidden, adds another layer of suffering, and holistic support is needed, the organisation pointed out.

Early detection of thyroid nodules and regular follow-up are key to ensuring better treatment outcomes, which is why Pasykaf is encouraging the public to request a routine throat examination during doctor’s visits.

The main symptom is the appearance of a lump in the throat. Preventive measures include medical examination, as well as self-palpation at least once a year.

Other symptoms to watch out for include hoarseness lasting more than a few weeks, and a painless throat mass which can grow slowly and, in rare cases, put pressure on the oesophagus leading to difficulty in swallowing.

Thyroid cancer risk is increased by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, including being female, a low iodine diet and family history.

Additionally, women who have had breast cancer have a slightly increased chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and vice versa.