Thyroid nodules are the most common cause of thyroid swelling. Small lumps of cells form on the thyroid gland in the neck just below Adam’s apple. The thyroid produces hormones that affect metabolism and growth, so any changes to this gland can greatly impact your health.
If you have a thyroid nodule, you may notice pain in your neck or feel like something is caught in your throat when swallowing food or liquids. You may also notice swelling in your neck. Sometimes these symptoms can make it difficult for you to breathe properly and speak clearly.
What are the risks of thyroid nodules?
Thyroid nodules are generally benign. However, there are some risks associated with them:
About 10% of nodules contain cancerous cells. The risk of thyroid cancer is higher in people with a family history or who have undergone radiation therapy for another condition. Your doctor may recommend regular checkups with an endocrinologist (a hormone specialist) to monitor your health if you have a thyroid nodule that requires monitoring or removal.
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism:
If a large portion of your thyroid gland is removed due to surgery or other reasons, you may experience hypothyroidism–also known as Hashimoto’s disease–or hyperthyroidism (goiter). You’ll need medication from an endocrinologist to manage these conditions if they develop after surgery on your neck area.* Autoimmune diseases such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease*: Research shows that having one autoimmune disease increases your risk of developing another; therefore, a physician should closely monitor anyone diagnosed with either condition over time.* Other conditions including goiters*, heart problems*, diabetes mellitus type 2*, high blood pressure
Should you have your thyroid nodule removed?
When it comes to thyroid nodules, the risks are not as serious as some people think. The main risk of having a thyroid nodule may be cancerous, and you might need surgery to remove it. But this is rare: only about 1% of all thyroid cancers are diagnosed this way.
The chances of having a non-cancerous lump on your neck are higher than they were just 30 years ago–and they’re still rising–but doctors don’t know why this is happening yet (though they have some theories). There may come the point when we see more cases of malignant growths than benign ones, but we’re not there yet–so far, most cases involve benign growths only!
How can you tell if your thyroid nodule is cancerous?
Thyroids are usually benign, but they can also be cancerous. A physical exam and lab tests are used to diagnose thyroid nodules. Your doctor may recommend imaging tests like ultrasound or CT scan to determine whether the area around your thyroid gland has any lumps or abnormalities. If you have a lump in your neck causing symptoms such as pain or difficulty swallowing, see a doctor immediately.
If you have one or more lumps on your thyroid gland and want more information about them before deciding whether they should be removed surgically (a procedure called surgery), then ask whether there’s another option besides removing all of the tissue surrounding each lump: partial removal versus total removal of all affected tissue surrounding an enlarged area within an otherwise healthy organ–in this case, one’s body part known as “the thyroid gland.”
What are the symptoms of cancerous or non-cancerous thyroid nodules?
Non-cancerous thyroid nodules are more likely to cause symptoms than cancerous ones. If you have a non-cancerous thyroid nodule, you may experience the following:
Pain in your neck or shoulder
A feeling of fullness in the front of your throat (this is called dysphagia)
Hoarseness, which can be mild or severe and last for days or weeks at a time
Cancerous thyroid nodules can also cause symptoms such as swelling or pain in the neck region; difficulty swallowing food; voice changes; muscle weakness; fatigue; weight gain due to fluid retention (edema); and mood swings caused by hormone imbalances brought on by cancer growths on the thyroid gland.
There are many reasons to have a non-cancerous nodule removed, including improving your quality of life and reducing the risk of disease.
If you have a thyroid nodule causing symptoms or is large enough to be seen on an ultrasound, it should be removed. If your nodule is not causing any symptoms and is not large enough to be seen on an ultrasound, then removing the nodule is unnecessary.
In conclusion, it is important to understand the risks and benefits of having your thyroid nodule removed. Suppose you have a non-cancerous nodule that causes symptoms or potential complications. In that case, it is best to have surgery performed by an experienced surgeon who can accurately assess whether or not removal will benefit your health.