Not All Lumps in Your Throat Are Scary
- 07 Jul 2019
- #Thyroid Health
Feel a lump in your neck? While this could be the sign of a Thyroid Nodule, the good news is that it need not be as life-threatening (an event) as you fear it to be.
Your thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in the front of the neck. It is responsible for the release of hormones that play an important role in sustaining your growth and energy needs.
A variety of reasons can cause your thyroid gland to develop a lump ranging from the build-up of tissue mass to fluid-filled cysts that can lead to the formation of nodules.
It is believed that women have three times the possibility of getting lumps as compared to men. With most of these nodules or cysts are non-cancerous by nature.
Genes play an important role in the occurrence of thyroid nodules. In addition, a diet poor in iodine intake can be a trigger. There are certain pre-existing medical conditions that can bring about these nodules like Thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s disease, or thyroid cancer.
Goitre and thyroid nodules are not very different. The term goitre indicates that the thyroid gland is enlarged and it might contain small nodules. Nodules refer to small swellings or clusters of cells that grow abnormally. They are usually benign but can occasionally turn out to be cancerous. Your doctor will usually assess the nodule and order a few tests to rule out cancer like an Ultrasound neck, FNAC or CECT neck.
Thyroid Nodules do not always need treatment - they can go away on their own. After a series of tests, the doctor will decide the next steps. Benign nodules can be kept on surveillance i.e. watchful waiting. If ‘Watchful waiting’ is not an option, your doctor will make one of the following recommendations, based on the cause of nodules and severity.
Based on the cause of the nodules, a doctor may consider treatment pathways like Thyroid hormone suppression via medication or administering radioactive Iodine therapy in case of Hyperthyroidism.
Surgery is recommended for thyroid cancer. For benign nodules, when the nodules are too large or numerous that they constrict airway or food passage, surgery is recommended. Benign tumours are also removed if they are diagnosed as indeterminate or suspicious for malignancy. If the problem persists or medication-based treatment fails, surgery may be recommended as a final resort.
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