Thyroid Nodules

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A diagnosis of thyroid nodules can be frightening if you don’t have all the facts. In truth, thyroid nodules are lumps found in otherwise normal thyroid glands. Situated right at the edge of the thyroid gland, these abnormal growths of thyroid tissue can be felt by a physician and diagnosed as a lump in the throat. Large thyroid nodules can be seen in the front of the neck, especially when they occur in very thin individuals. Statistics show that 95 percent or more of all thyroid nodules are non-cancerous growths. And by the age of 50, most people will have developed a thyroid nodule.

When you visit your physician, you’ll want to know up front if the thyroid nodule is cancerous…if it is pressing on other structures located inside the neck…and if the nodule is producing too much thyroid hormone. An appropriate check up will give you the answers to all these questions. Often times, an enlarged thyroid known as a goiter is first thought to be thyroid nodules, but after extensive testing, it is found to be just one of several benign enlarged growths found in the thyroid.

In most cases, you won’t experience any symptoms with thyroid nodules. On rare occasions, patients may have difficulty swallowing because the nodule has grown large enough and is position in a way that blocks the normal passage of food through the esophagus. If you believe you have a thyroid nodule, don’t panic…remember, most are benign. See your doctor immediately for a clear diagnosis to ease your mind or start appropriate treatment.

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An Overview of Thyroid Nodules

Filed under: Thyroid Nodules - 18 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

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The term thyroid nodule refers to any abnormal growth forming a lump in the thyroid gland, which is located low in the front of the neck, below the thyroid cartilage which forms the Adam’s apple. This butterfly-shaped gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body and one of the most important ones at the same time, as it controls how quickly the body uses energy and makes proteins. It also controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones. What happens when thyroid nodules appear, though? Here is an overview that will help you better understand these lumps.

What are thyroid nodules?


Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps or growths that form within the thyroid. Most nodules of the kind are not cancerous and do not cause any problems. More often than not, they do not even require treatment. However, they should still be examined by a doctor because they can release too much of the thyroid hormone, therefore suppressing the rest of the gland. A thyroid nodule can occur in any part of the gland. Some can be easily felt, while others can be hidden in the depth of the thyroid tissue or very low in the gland.

What are the causes and risk groups?

The cause of thyroid nodules remains uncertain. However, it has been shown that these nodules tend to run in the family, so if you have a history of thyroid nodules in your family, the chances of you developing them are higher.

There have also been some connections between the development of benign (non-cancerous) thyroid nodules and the following conditions:

  • Multinodular goiter — an overall enlargement of the thyroid gland;

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis — which can cause hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland);
  • Thyroid cysts — blood or colloid-filled nodules that are often associated with thyroid pain.

Also, there are certain risk categories who are likely to develop the nodules. These include:

  • elderly people — old people are at risk of developing them;

  • females — women are more likely than men to develop them;
  • people who have been exposed to radiation — exposure to environmental radiation or radiation treatment to the head, neck and chest areas increase the chances of developing them;
  • people with iodine deficiency — although rare in the US, this condition is common in areas where iodine is not added to salt, water and food.

What are the symptoms?


Most people with thyroid nodules do not even know they have them, since these nodules tend to be small and unnoticeable. If the nodule is big, you will be able to feel it. If you have a thyroid nodule, you might also experience:

  • pain in your throat, feeling like your throat is full;

  • trouble breathing;
  • hoarseness of the voice;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • nervousness, fast heartbeat, weight loss, abundant sweat — these are all symptoms of hyperthyroidism;
  • tiredness, depression, memory problems, constipation, dry skin, feeling cold — these are all symptoms of hypothyroidism.

How are thyroid nodules diagnosed?

Typically, thyroid nodules are discovered by accident when performing a routine physical examination of the neck. Since the modules are not easy to feel and do not usually cause any symptoms, most people do not feel them on their own. The nodules can also be found when undergoing a CT scan or ultrasound for another reason.

When discovering a thyroid nodule, the doctor must carefully examine it in order to rule out the possibility of it being cancerous. For that to happen, s/he will have to perform some tests, such as:

  • a blood test checking the thyroid hormone level in the body;

  • a thyroid scan using radioactive material to see how the gland is working;
  • fine-needle aspiration checking the nodule for cancer;
  • a thyroid ultrasound to see the number and size of nodules.

How can thyroid nodules be treated?


Since they are not dangerous, most thyroid nodules do not require any special treatment besides monitoring them. Depending on the case, though, the doctor may prescribe one of the following treatments:

  • anti-thyroid medication;

  • thyroid hormone suppression therapy;
  • radioactive iodine;
  • surgery.

Prevalence and prevention

Even though thyroid nodules are the most common endocrine problem in the US, the vast majority of these nodules are benign. They are most common in females, but the risk of these nodules being cancerous is higher with men. Exposure to radiation also increases the risk of the nodule being malignant.

Thyroid nodules cannot be prevented, but the American Thyroid Association recommends that all adults be tested starting at age 35 and continuing every 5 years. High-risk individuals may want to be screened more often, though.


These are the basic things to know about thyroid nodules. If you notice a lump in your neck, there is usually no reason to panic, so head to the doctor’s office before presuming it is cancerous.

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Treatment For Thyroid Nodules

Filed under: Thyroid Nodules - 27 Sep 2012  | Spread the word !

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Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths that form a lump in your thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is butterfly-shaped and is located around the windpipe of trachea. It has two lobes on either side of the windpipe which are joined together by a bridge (isthmus). The cause of this nodules is not exactly known. Nonetheless, it seems that they are caused by iron deficiency in diet, certain genes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.


If you have non-cancerous thyroid nodules, you still have to monitor them carefully. You should also have another biopsy if they increase in size. Treatment for thyroid nodules includes:

  • thyroid hormone suppression therapy
  • surgery
  • radioactive iodine
  • anti-thyroid medications

1. Thyroid hormone suppression therapy treats a benign nodule with medications such as Levoxyl or Synthroid, which are a synthetic form of levothyroxine. The purpose of this type of treatment is to make your pituitary gland produce less TSH, an important hormone that stimulates the growth of thyroid tissue. Nonetheless, using levothyroxine is a debated subject and there’s no clear evidence that nodules decrease in size or disappear.


2. Surgery is recommended when a thyroid nodule is very large that makes breathing or swallow difficult. It’s also appropriate for those who have multinodular goiters that constrict their airwaves. Nodules which are suspicious are also surgically removed. Surgically removal is used also for malignant thyroid nodules, even with a large part of thyroid tissue, which is called near-total thyroidectomy. This procedure is very risky because your vocal cords and parathyroids can be seriously affected. Thyroidectomy needs lifelong treatment with levothyroxine.

3. Radioactive iodine is used to treat multinodular goiters. Radioactive iodine makes the nodules decrease in size, while symptoms and signs will be soon subsided.


4. Anti-thyroid medications is also a method that your doctor may recommend it to you if you have nodules that cause hyperthyroidism. You will have to take methimazole (Tapazole) to subside symptoms of hyperthyroidism. This type of treatment lasts a long period of time and it may affect your liver. Therefore, you will have to discuss its benefits and risks with your doctor.

If you feel a lump or you can even see one in your neck, if you have any thyroid symptoms, call your doctor. You should do the same thing if you have been exposed to radiations in your neck or face area. The doctor will do a simple, painless neck ultrasound to see if you have thyroid nodules. In case you have non-cancerous nodules, they aren’t life threatening. Additionally, many of them don’t even require treatment, watching your condition being enough.

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How Is A Diagnosis Given

Filed under: Diagnostics - 10 Jul 2012  | Spread the word !

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A diagnosis involving thyroid nodules is not given very easy. The patient must undertake a lot of analyses and examinations, because such a prognosis is pretty serious and can affect a lot its morale. A nodule can be found during a simple physical examination, but the person having it must also see a specialist before hearing a final and 100% sure diagnosis. In most of the cases, the patient must also have a regular ultrasound, for the doctor to see if a nodule is really present and to observe the status of the whole gland. The thyroid stimulating hormone must also be measured and the anti-thyroid antibodies are those that will help a medic decide if a thyroid disease is present. Many adults and children – about 50% have this type of nodules and in most of the cases, they are only detected through a regular examination. There are some tests that need to be done by those that seem to suffer real problems with the thyroid. The fine needle biopsy is one of them. This is done especially to see if the nodule that the patient has is malignant.

Apparently, this is the most accurate test. It is also cost-effective and very sensitive, thus offering the doctor exacts results related to the condition of his patient. Thanks to the fine needle biopsy and to the ultrasound-guided FNA the risk of malignancy can be determined. Of course, there are also some cases in which the nodule needs to be surgically removed in order to be carefully examined. Blood tests are usual when it comes about these nodules. These are taken, in most of the cases, before the biopsy. Through these tests, the thyroid stimulating hormone is measure.

This is done to see if a nodule that secretes it is cancerous. Thyroxine and triiodothyronine are also measured. Imaging is used to see the exact position of the possible thyroid nodules. Through it, the sizes and texture of the nodules can also be determined and it can be seen if they are filled with liquid. Nuclear medicine has a great part because it shows if a nodule is cancerous or not. Technetium and iodium imaging are used to perform an I scan of the patient. If the nodule seems to be hot, it is a good news, as such an image indicates it is not cancerous.

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Instances Which Favor Thyroid Nodules Malignancy

Filed under: Cancer - 16 May 2012  | Spread the word !

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Most of the time, as researches have shown, the thyroid nodules are benign and therefore are not signs of cancer. However, there are instances in which the malignancy of the tumors can be determined by various factors. This means that a person who is submitted to the following issues may develop a malign tumor on the thyroid, as there are many more chances of this occurrence for them rather then for the rest. The most important thing to consider is a medical checkup with a specialist in the event of any suspicions. The real diagnosis can only be given as such and then the suitable treatment option is offered.

There are factors which can increase the apparition of the malign tumors on the thyroid gland. In most occasions of this apparition, the tumor is benign. The malignancy can be developed due to various external factors and to other medical issues that are created in the organism. Smokers have many more chances in discovering a malign tumor, due to the toxins that are ingested into the body through the neck. The glands, tissues and organs that are located in the way the smoke is inhaled and exhaled in the body can be affected in numerous ways and the malign tumor of the thyroid is just one of them. The submission to radiation of the head and neck are other factors which can lead to the apparition of malignancy. However, these should be rather frequent in order to cause this amount of damage. Lastly, the family history is the main generator of the cancerous tumor, as the diseased cells are now one of the genetic heritages people have to consider.

The thyroid nodules are very dangerous, if they become malign. However, most of the cases indicate the presence of the benign tumors and not of the ones that can cause cancer. Even so, it is mandatory for the person suspecting the apparition of the thyroid nodules to have a medical checkup in order to find out if they are benign or malign. After this, the proper treatment for the particular case will be provided. People with a family history of the cancerous tumors of the thyroid should pay extra attention to the area of their necks and should try to avoid the above mentioned instances, which can increase the chances of developing these tumors.

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Things to Know about Thryoid Nodules

Filed under: Thyroid Nodules - 12 Apr 2012  | Spread the word !

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The term thyroid nodules refers to any abnormal growth that forms a lump in the thyroid gland, which is located low in the front of the neck, below Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and wraps around the windpipe or the trachea. Thyroid nodules can occur in any part of the gland. Some thyroid nodules can be felt quite easily, while others can be hidden deep in the thyroid tissue or located very low in the gland where they are difficult to feel.

Most of the times, the thyroid nodules do not have symptoms. Nevertheless, if the cells in the nodules are functioning and producing thyroid hormone on their own, the nodule may produce signs and symptoms of too much thyroid hormone. Many patients that believe to have thyroid nodules claim to have pain that goes up to the ear of the jaw. If the thyroid nodules are very large, then they can cause difficulties in swallowing or shortness of breath.

Thyroid nodules are discovered during regular check-ups on the neck. The patient may notice thyroid nodules as small lumps in their neck when looking in the mirror. The doctor determines if there is one or more thyroid nodules and what the rest of the gland feels like. If the thyroid nodules are fixed to the surrounding tissue, there is a higher probability of cancer.

The presence of thyroid nodules can also be traced by means of blood tests, that asses the function of the thyroid. If the blood test is not relevant, then the physician may order an ultrasound examination of the thyroid. The ultrasound can detect thyroid nodules that are not easily felt, determine the number of nodules as well as their size and determine whether thyroid nodules are solid or cystic.

In case a patient has thyroid nodules, the bet solution is surgery, especially if the nodules are large enough to obstruct eating and swallowing. Surgery also prevents the thyroid nodules to grow even more and expand to the other organs in the throat.

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Thyroid Nodules Check-Ups

Filed under: Thyroid Nodules - 22 Mar 2012  | Spread the word !

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One of the most important thing by which people should guide their lives is that if they have any suspicions of a disease of some sort, they must attend a professional check-up. In the respect of the thyroid nodules, the visit to the doctor is mandatory. You should know that the thyroid nodules are most of the time benign, but taking out the possibility of cancer is not the only concern you should have. You should understand that this is an abnormal growth that occurs in most people after the age of 50. Even so, any dysfunction of the thyroid gland should be considered with the help of a specialist, as there are many more dangerous outcomes from it.

The thyroid nodules are very frequent and they appear as lumps in the throat. Most people notice them upon looking at their throats, but some are unable to see them and only realize there is something wrong when the lump prevents them from eating properly, for example. The check-up of the specialist should bare the answer to three different issues concerning the thyroid nodules. One of the first elements the doctor will probably talk about is the production of thyroid hormone. When the thyroid nodules appear, the gland may be secreting more substance that can affect the other functions of the body. Another element to think about is the pressure placed by the thyroid nodules on the other areas around them. In this case, the eating problems may occur. Lastly, the thyroid nodules will be submitted to testing for cancerous cells. Most of the thyroid nodules are benign, however the testing is mandatory for your safety. 

If you think that you have thyroid nodules, you should make an appointment with a specialist immediately. The Internet can only help in the preliminary stages and familiarize you with what is going to happen. Being aware of how the check-up should run is very important and it will assure you of the fact that the doctor has done all the proper examinations needed. The doctor will also give you the proper treatment for your health problem.

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Thyroid Nodules And The Risk Of Cancer

Filed under: Thyroid Nodules - 15 Feb 2012  | Spread the word !

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Thyroid nodules are small lumps that usually appear in the thyroid gland. The thyroid nodules can indicate a thyroid neoplasm or a cancer. The neoplasm is a tumor of the thyroid and it can be benign or malign. Most patients diagnosed with neoplasm after discovering the thyroid nodules are between 25 and 65. The neoplasm appears mostly on women. A small percentage of the thyroid nodules indicates cancer, which can be described as malign neoplasm. Fortunately, this type of cancer can be treated with the help of surgery, by resection or during a treatment with radioactive iodine. Also used to cure this awful disease discovered through thyroid nodules are chemotherapy and radiotherapy. If this type of cancer exists in the family’s medical history of the patient that has the thyroid nodules, chances are high that he or she will also be diagnosed with this disease.

Another action associating thyroid nodules with thyroid cancer is the prior radiation of the patient’s head or neck. Exposure to radiation is extremely dangerous. Even so, this is indicated in cases of tonsillar hypertrophy, acne vulgaris or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Thyroid nodules revealing cancer were an important problem for children that used to live near the Chernobyl area when the tragic accident happened back in 1986. The nuclear plant disaster threaten the lives of those living in the area even now, as many suffer all kind of diseases, mostly associated with thyroid nodules. Unfortunately, for the people exposed to radiation for so much time, the prognosis in case of thyroid cancer is really poor.

Even so, the apparition of thyroid nodules does not necessarily imply that the patient has cancer. The family history is very relevant in all cancer cases and in most of them, those who had the disease in the family, unfortunately, may inherit it. As the family connection of the patient with the person who had cancer is closer, the chances to suffer of the same problem are higher. The most important thing for persons who develop thyroid nodules is to go for an emergency check. As soon as the problem is discovered, it is easier to be treated.

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Thyroid Nodules Treatment

Filed under: Thyroid Nodules - 20 Jan 2012  | Spread the word !

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Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths located on the thyroid gland. The treatment recommended to patients which have been diagnosed with thyroid nodules will vary from one case to another, depending on a series of factors. One of the most important elements in influencing thyroid nodules treatment is given by the type of nodules formed. So, thyroid nodules can either be cancerous or non cancerous. When thyroid nodules are benign, or non cancerous, a medical intervention is not necessary required in all cases, and the doctor will be the one to establish the right way to address the health problem.

In case thyroid nodules are benign, treatment options can include therapy or surgery. Still, the first thing a doctor will recommend is to watch the way the nodules evolve. After a biopsy which has shown that the thyroid nodules formed are non cancerous, observation will be required to see if they grow larger or remain unchanged. In case the nodules tend to grow, an intervention will be a must. One way to get rid of thyroid nodules implies thyroid hormone suppression therapy, which takes the form of a pill. However, these pills based on levothyroxine, a hormone which is believed to stimulate the growth of thyroid tissue, have not been proved to have positive effects in all cases in reducing the size of the nodules. The best alternative to this therapy remains surgery. Surgery is mostly recommended in the cases in which the thyroid nodules formed are large enough to cause swallowing or breathing problems, but also when doctors have reasons to suspect that they can evolve and grow.

In the cases in which the thyroid nodules formed are cancerous, the most common treatment involves surgery. A surgical removal of the cancerous thyroid nodules, along with the affected thyroid tissue, is considered to be the best way to overcome the condition. Anyway, before being submitted to such a medical intervention, patients should know that thyroid nodules surgery supposes some risks, including the damage of the nerve which controls vocal cords. The procedure is called thyroidectomy. After surgery, treatment with levothyroxine based products will most likely be required to sustain the production of the thyroid hormone in normal amounts.

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Thyroid Nodules Symptoms

Filed under: Thyroid Nodules - 29 Nov 2011  | Spread the word !

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Health is the most important thing we possess. Taking care of our health and avoiding different health issues from being formed is for sure something we all have in mind. Unfortunately, there are many diseases that cannot easily be avoided, but once they are formed, they need to be diagnosed really soon, for the right treatment to be administered as quick as possible, to make sure that the patients are going to be able to overcome the condition. Being diagnosed with a serious disease can be quite frightening, but as soon as you get the right diagnosis you will be able to start treatment. When treatment begins sooner, the chances for the disease to be easily cured are much higher and this fact remains also valid when referring to thyroid nodules. 

All individuals can develop thyroid nodules, and they are described as abdominal growths on the thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules can be formed on all parts of the gland and while some are easy to trace, others are hidden. Treating thyroid nodules is even more important when you become aware of the fact that about 10 percent of such nodules can turn into cancerous tumors. Being aware of all symptoms associated with thyroid nodules forming is the first step to an early diagnosis. Here are some of the most common thyroid nodules symptoms that can indicate something is wrong with your health. Pain and difficulty when swelling are some of the most common signs of thyroid nodules forming.

When thyroid nodules are developed, a patient can also experience a shortness of breath. Difficulty when speaking can also be a consequence of thyroid nodules forming. However, no matter when these symptoms are experienced, you need to have a medical checkup. The increase of appetite is a common symptom for thyroid nodules. Gaining weight, as well as nervousness, changing voice, pain in the neck, clammy and dry skin, fatigue, hair loss, as well as intolerance to cold, are other common symptoms of thyroid nodules. There also are cases in which patients with thyroid nodules experience no symptoms at all, but the condition can be traced during a medical examination.

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Thyroid Nodules Facts

Filed under: Thyroid Nodules - 21 Oct 2011  | Spread the word !

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Nowadays, there are many factors that can endanger our health. The first and main reason is that we do not take proper care of ourselves and we usually fail to go to a doctor because of our busy schedules. However, you should know that there are health issues, like thyroid nodules, that cannot be detected unless you go through an examination, because they do not cause any symptoms. There are many facts that you should know about thyroid nodules, just so you can be prepared and to know what to expect.

First, thyroid nodules are lumps, or abnormal growths, that form within the thyroid gland, which is located at the base of the neck. The comforting thing is that most thyroid nodules are non-cancerous, but they can be malign as well. If the thyroid nodules are hard, stuck to nearby structures, or if you have a family history of thyroid cancer, the chances of your thyroid nodules to be cancerous are higher. This is why getting a complete check-out at least once a year is very important. If thyroid nodules are discovered, you must consult an endocrinologist or an endocrine surgeon, who will take care of the problem, depending on your health condition, type and size of thyroid nodules.

You should also know that thyroid nodules are very common nowadays. Remember though that most of the thyroid nodules are not cancerous, so if you feel a lump on your neck do not get panicked, because it may not be that serious. Then, thyroid nodules are more likely to develop on women. Statistics show that one in 12 young women has thyroid nodules, while only one in 40 men has them. Then, the age is a factor that influences the incidence of thyroid nodules, as the probability of getting them increases when getting older. The cause of thyroid nodules is still unknown, but people with thyroid problems and a family history of thyroid diseases are more at risk.

You can easily find out if the thyroid nodules are benign or malign, through a biopsy. Then, depending on the result, your doctor will know what to do next. The important thing is that you visit your doctor as often as you can, because although most thyroid nodules are benign, you can never know for sure. You know what they say, it is better to prevent than to treat, so take these thyroid nodules facts seriously.

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