Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within your thyroid, a small gland located at the base of your neck, just above your breastbone. Most thyroid nodules aren’t serious and don’t cause symptoms. Only a small percentage of thyroid nodules are cancerous.
What symptoms can thyroid nodules cause?
Most thyroid nodules don’t cause any symptoms. However, if they grow large enough, they can cause swelling in your neck and lead to breathing and swallowing difficulties, pain, and goiter. Some nodules produce thyroid hormone, causing abnormally high levels in the bloodstream.
Do thyroid nodules need to be removed?
Generally, benign thyroid nodules do not need to be removed unless they are causing symptoms like choking or difficulty swallowing. Follow up ultrasound exams are important. Occasionally, another biopsy may be required in the future, especially if the nodule grows over time.
What does a nodule on your thyroid mean?
The term thyroid nodule refers to an abnormal growth of thyroid cells that forms a lump within the thyroid gland. Although the vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign (noncancerous), a small proportion of thyroid nodules do contain thyroid cancer.
What are the symptoms of cancerous thyroid nodules?
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
- A lump in the neck, sometimes growing quickly.
- Swelling in the neck.
- Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears.
- Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Trouble breathing.
- A constant cough that is not due to a cold.
When should I worry about thyroid nodules?
When to see a doctor
Although most thyroid nodules are noncancerous and don’t cause problems, ask your doctor to evaluate any unusual swelling in your neck, especially if you have trouble breathing or swallowing. It’s important to evaluate the possibility of cancer.
What makes a thyroid nodule suspicious?
For the U.S. population, the lifetime risk of developing thyroid cancer is 1.1 percent. When a thyroid nodule is suspicious – meaning that it has characteristics that suggest thyroid cancer – the next step is usually a fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB).
How do you shrink thyroid nodules?
Doctors use radioactive iodine to treat hyperthyroidism. Taken as a capsule or in liquid form, radioactive iodine is absorbed by your thyroid gland. This causes the nodules to shrink and signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism to subside, usually within two to three months.
What size thyroid nodule is worrisome?
The nodules in 5% of each size group were classified as malignant. Six percent of the nodules 1 to 1.9 cm were considered suspicious, as were 8 to 9% of nodules in the larger size groups. Based on surgical pathology, 927 of 7348 nodules (13%) were cancers.
Should I see an ENT for thyroid nodules?
If you suspect that you have thyroid nodules you should contact an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) or endocrinologist. Typically, an ultrasound scan will be carried out to determine the condition of the thyroid gland, and a fine needle biopsy may be carried out.
What do nodules on thyroid look like?
Thyroid nodules are lumps that can appear in the thyroid gland in front of the throat. A thyroid nodule can feel like a bump on the side or in the middle of the throat. Sometimes, people can identify them as a lump in the front of the neck, but often they cannot see or feel them.
What size thyroid nodule should be biopsied?
According to the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound, biopsy should be performed on a nodule 1 cm in diameter or larger with microcalcifications, 1.5 cm in diameter or larger that is solid or has coarse calcifications, and 2 cm in diameter or larger that has mixed solid and cystic components, and a nodule that has …
How painful is a thyroid biopsy?
A needle biopsy is less invasive than open and closed surgical biopsies, both of which involve a larger incision in the skin and local or general anesthesia. Generally, the procedure is not painful and the results are as accurate as when a tissue sample is removed surgically.
What percentage of thyroid nodules are cancerous?
Thyroid nodule: an abnormal growth of thyroid cells that forms a lump within the thyroid. While most thyroid nodules are non-cancerous (Benign), ~5% are cancerous.
Does thyroid cancer show up in blood work?
Blood tests. Blood tests are not used to find thyroid cancer. But they can help show if your thyroid is working normally, which may help the doctor decide what other tests may be needed. They can also be used to monitor certain cancers.
What foods to avoid if you have thyroid nodules?
- soy foods: tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.
- certain vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, spinach, etc.
- fruits and starchy plants: sweet potatoes, cassava, peaches, strawberries, etc.
- nuts and seeds: millet, pine nuts, peanuts, etc.