The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones. The follicular cells make hormones which affect heart rate, temperature and levels of energy. C cells make a hormone that controls the level of calcium in the blood. Thyriod cancer develops as a result of cell changes which results in a build up of tissue (tumour) to develop. The cancer cells can spread to other organs or into the blood stream and lymph system which causes it to spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). Papillary and follicular thyroid cancer account for around 80 to 90% of thyroid cancer. They are known to develop fairly slowly and can be effectively treated if detected early. A thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove some or all of the thyroid gland. The patient will receive a general anesthetic and an incision will be made across the front of the neck. After the thyroid gland is removed the skin is closed and should heal with a scar that is barely visible. The operation takes 1-2 hours.