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.