Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid nodules are hard or fluid-filled lumps that form in your thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, just above your breastbone. Most thyroid nodules are not serious or malignant and do not cause any symptoms, but up to 10% carry a cancer risk.

You often don’t know you have a thyroid nodule until it is discovered during a routine medical examination by your doctor or on a scan for another reason. However, some thyroid nodules may become large enough to appear or touch your neck, making it difficult to swallow or breathe.

In some cases, thyroid nodules produce hormones secreted by your thyroid gland and can cause symptoms due to excessive hormone synthesis (hyperthyroidism, colloquially toxic goiter). Examples include unexplained weight loss, increased sweating, tremors, palpitations, irritability.

Some thyroid nodules carry a cancer risk. However, which nodules are cancerous cannot be determined by blood tests or symptoms. Most cancerous thyroid nodules grow slowly and may be small when your doctor discovers them. Some may even be so small that they cannot be noticed by touch. It may not cause any findings in your blood tests. Very aggressive thyroid cancers can cause large, firm, fixed and rapidly growing nodules, but this is very rare. Most thyroid cancers appear as nodules that grow very slowly over years.

WHEN TO APPLY TO THE DOCTOR

Although most thyroid nodules are not cancerous and do not cause serious problems, you should always see your doctor, especially if you have difficulty breathing or swallowing. Apart from this, when you notice swelling in your neck (especially not painful, does not go away in a week or two, and grows over time), it will be useful to be examined by your doctor and then evaluated by ultrasonography.

Seek medical attention if you experience signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as:

* Rapid weight loss despite normal or increased appetite

* Fast or irregular heartbeat

* Tremors in hands

* sleep problem

* Muscle weakness

* irritability

* Excessive sweating, hot flashes

See your doctor if you have symptoms that could mean your thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism):

* feeling cold, cold

* Getting tired quickly and feeling tired most of the day

* Dry skin, hair loss

* Memory problems

* depression

* Constipation

Various conditions can cause nodules to develop on your thyroid gland, including:

  • It can be defined as the overgrowth of normal thyroid cells and the overgrowth of normal tissue in an area. thyroid adenoma It is one of the nodule-forming lesions. It is not malignant, but there is a possibility of reaching large sizes. Some thyroid adenomas can cause hyperthyroidism by secreting excess hormones.

  • Thyroid cyst: Fluid-filled spaces (cysts) in the thyroid arise from degenerated thyroid adenomas or nodules containing colloid material. Thyroid cysts often have solid parts. Cysts are not usually cancerous, but they may contain cancerous components.

  • Chronic inflammation of the thyroid: Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid disorder, can cause thyroid inflammation and the formation/growth of false or true nodules. This is a disease that usually presents with hypothyroidism.

  • Multinodular goiter: The term goiter is used to describe an enlargement of the thyroid gland for any reason, which can be caused by iodine deficiency or a thyroid disorder. Multinodular goiter is the presence of more than one different nodule in the thyroid gland. Its frequency increases with age.

  • Thyroid cancer: About 10% of thyroid nodules carry a cancer risk. This risk is higher for large nodules that grow over time, become firm, and cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing. Having a family history of thyroid or other endocrine cancer and for medical treatment or nuclear fallout etc. Accidental exposure to radiation increases your risk of thyroid cancer.

  • Iodine deficiency: A lack of iodine in your diet can sometimes cause your thyroid gland to develop nodules. However, iodine deficiency is rare in our country in recent years due to the routine addition of iodine to table salt and other foods. There may be an increase in the frequency of nodules in areas where some foods classified as goitrogens (cabbage, turnip, cauliflower, radish, broccoli, etc.) are consumed excessively.

TREATMENT

Treatment options depend on the type of thyroid nodule and are determined after various tests. The physical examination, ultrasonography and thyroid function tests to be performed by your doctor determine the approach to your nodules. In necessary cases, a biopsy with a fine needle may be needed. As a result of these examinations, you may need to have surgery for the nodule or nodules that are found to be risky. In cases where it is decided that you do not need to have surgery, your controls should be continued without interruption with the frequencies determined by your doctor.

I wish you healthy days.

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