The thyroid gland
Thyroid nodules are lumps that can form on the thyroid gland. They are very common, and most of them are not cancerous. However, some thyroid nodules can be cancerous, so it is important to have them checked by a doctor if they are found.
What are thyroid nodules?
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck. It produces hormones that help regulate your metabolism, body temperature, and mood.
Thyroid nodules are lumps that can form on the thyroid gland. They can be solid or fluid-filled, and they can be different sizes. Most thyroid nodules are not cancerous, but some of them can be.
What causes thyroid nodules?
There are many different things that can cause thyroid nodules, including:
- Iodine deficiency
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Radiation exposure
- Genetic factors
- Some medications
What are the symptoms of thyroid nodules?
Most thyroid nodules do not cause any symptoms. However, if a thyroid nodule is large enough, it can compress the surrounding tissues and cause symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swallowing problems
- A lump in the neck
- Pain in the neck or throat
How are thyroid nodules diagnosed?
If you have any of the symptoms of thyroid nodules, your doctor will likely order a thyroid ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create a picture of your thyroid gland.
If your thyroid ultrasound shows that you have a thyroid nodule, your doctor may also order a thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNA). This procedure uses a thin needle to remove a small sample of cells from the nodule. The cells are then sent to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope.
How are thyroid nodules treated?
If your thyroid nodule is not cancerous, your doctor may recommend that you simply monitor it. This means that you will have regular checkups to see if the nodule is growing or if it is causing any problems.
If your thyroid nodule is cancerous, your doctor will recommend the best course of treatment. Treatment options for thyroid cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
What is the prognosis for people with thyroid nodules?
Most people with thyroid nodules do not have any problems. However, if you have a thyroid nodule that is cancerous, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible. The earlier thyroid cancer is treated, the better the chances of survival.
Thyroid nodules are common, and most of them are not cancerous. However, some thyroid nodules can be cancerous, so it is important to have them checked by a doctor if they are found. If you have any of the symptoms of thyroid nodules, see your doctor right away.