If your doctor has diagnosed you as having a thyroid nodule, a thyroid lump or an enlargement of the thyroid known as goiter, you'll want to know more about the diagnosis and treatment process, the relationship between nodules to thyroid cancer, and followup. Alternatively, you may experience a swelling of the thyroid gland, also known as a goiter.
Thyroid nodules are very common. A nodule is a swelling or lump, which can
be a solid or liquid filled cyst or mass. Most are benign, but a small
percentage can be cancerous. So you should always have a nodule evaluated
by your physician as soon as you notice it. An estimated one in 12 to 15
women and one in 50 men has a thyroid nodule More than 90 percent of all
thyroid nodules are not cancerous.
Some symptoms of thyroid nodules include palpitations, insomnia, weight
loss, anxiety, and tremors, common in hyperthyroidism. Common
hypothyroidism symptoms might include weight gain, fatigue, depression.
Some people will cycle back and forth between hyperthyroid and hypothyroid
symptoms. Others may have difficulty swallowing, a feeling of fullness,
pain or pressure in the neck, a hoarse voice, or neck tenderness. And
finally, many people have nodules wiht no obvious symptoms related to
thyroid dysfunction at all.
A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid, and is sometimes used as a term
to refer to an enlarged thyroid. The thyroid becomes large enough so that
it can be seen as enlarged on ultrasounds or x- rays, and may be enlarged
enough to enlarge the neck area visibly.
Some symptoms of a goiter include tenderness to the touch, pressing on
your windpipe or your esophagus, coughing, hoarseness, shortness of
breath, fullness in your neck, choking or shortness of breath at night, or
a feeling that food is getting stuck in your throat.
Online, you'll find a detailed
informational guide about nodules and
goiters, how they are diagnosed, and what the available treatments are.