Any abnormal growth of the thyroid cells that forms a lump or tumor responds to the meaning of a thyroid nodule. However, a nodule in the thyroid gland does not always mean cancer since these masses are usually benign in most cases.
A nodule in the thyroid can be easily identified by the person who suffers from it. The lump is usually felt when palpating the area, facilitating the doctor’s diagnosis and allowing this pathology to be treated in time. However, a deeper exploration through a CT scan is necessary to identify the type of tumor and rule out the presence of other masses. In this FastlyHealarticle, you can learn more about thyroid nodules: causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Diagnosis of thyroid nodules
To detect and corroborate the presence of a nodule in the thyroid, it is necessary to perform a neck ultrasound. It will be possible to know if the nodule is solid, cystic, or mixed, if there are other nodules if the condition has spread to other parts.
In addition, there is a test called thyroid scintigraphy, which seeks to know the composition of the nodule to determine if it is cold, hot, or warm. Another test known as a puncture-aspiration is the most effective method of understanding the characteristics of the tumor.
Causes of thyroid nodules
Thyroid nodules are a condition that affects more women than men, and some of the leading causes for which they appear are the following:
- High TSH levels make people more likely to develop carcinomas that appear through goiters.
- The wounding factor plays a significant role in the appearance of thyroid nodules since 20% of medullary carcinomas appear in people with a history of thyroid cancer.
- Radiation exposure.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- The cause of noncancerous thyroid nodules is unknown.
Also, 9 out of 10 nodules are benign. These can produce thyroid hormone in addition to what the body needs, which is known as an autonomic nodule, which in many cases can lead to hyperthyroidism. When, on the contrary, the nodule secretes blood or is filled with fluid, it is considered to be a cyst in the thyroid.
Symptoms of thyroid nodules
In general, most of the nodules in the thyroid are asymptomatic. However, some manifestations may be related to lumps in the thyroid gland. Symptoms of thyroid nodules are:
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland.
- Changes in tone of voice or hoarseness.
- Neck Pain.
- Difficulty breathing, especially when lying down.
- Difficulty swallowing.
Autonomic nodules can produce symptoms similar to hyperthyroidism:
- Increased appetite
Treatment of thyroid nodules
The most important thing when thyroid nodules are found is to determine what type of mass it is, and based on this, choose an ideal treatment or evaluate the possibility of its removal. When the nodule produces too much thyroid hormone (autonomic), they are treated with radioactive iodine to reduce their size and activity.
The removal surgery may also involve removing part or all of the thyroid gland. This treatment option is considered the most effective for thyroid cancer when the nodule causes severe problems with breathing and swallowing, if the presence of cancer cannot be diagnosed, or if the nodule produces too much hormone.
When it is benign, in most cases, the person is observed every six months to monitor the behavior of the mass and its size. In some cases, it is sought to reduce it with an injection of ethanol.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Thyroid nodules: causes, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend entering our Endocrine System category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.