Thyroid nodules are basically a grabbag of every kind of growth of the thyroid gland, which include mostly benign tumors of the thyroid gland but can be slow or fast growing cancers. The vast majority of thyroid nodules are asymptomatic, meaning that the patient has no idea that they actually have a thyroid nodule. The vast majority of thyroid nodules are found by your physician on routine examination or they can be found by ultrasounds or CAT scans. Patients will occasionally feel a bump in their neck, but on most episodes, they will feel nothing.
If they are large enough, thyroid nodules can cause problems with swallowing. They can cause some shortness of breath. They can also cause problems with just compressivetype pressure symptoms in the neck. Risk factors are divided between sexes. Men, in general, don’t get very many thyroid nodules, but women have thyroid nodules very commonly. For women over 60, having a thyroid nodule is more common than not having a thyroid nodule. There is a rule that we use to estimate the percentage of people your age that do have thyroid nodules.
And that is to subtract 10 from your age, and that’s the percentage of people your age if you are a womanthat would have a thyroid nodule, so for a 70yearold female, she whould have a 60 percent chance of having a thyroid nodule. Now, again, thyroid nodules are usually not cancerous, and so you can see that 60 percent of women obviously don’t have thyroid cancer. So your risk factor for having a thyroid nodule is not necessarily a risk factor for having cancer. Thyroid nodules can be diagnosed on physical exam and then also by.
Thyroid Nodules NorthOaks.tv Tutorial
Imaging studies. In general, they’re diagnosed by either a primary care doctor or another physician who palpates the neck and feels a nodule in the lower portion the neck. Occasionally, it’ll be a small bump or a bigger bump. The nodules can also be found either on purpose or incidentally by imaging studies, such as CAT scans or ultrasounds. Treatment options begin with grouping thyroid nodules into generalized size groups. Patients who have nodules that are less than 1 centimeter. We generally observe these nodules. On occasion, we recommend biopsy of these nodules, but only if you have risk factors.
Based on your family history or exposure. For nodules that are between 1 and 4 centimeters, there are a variety a tests that can be done. In our clinic, we probably begin with an ultrasound. If there were any suspicious features of the nodules or if they had absolute size that were suspicious, then we would recommend proceeding with fine needle aspiration biopsy in most cases. The fine needle aspiration biopsy is a procedure in which a needle is guided in with an ultrasound and then cells are removed from the thyroid nodule, and they are examined underneath the microscope.
By the pathologist. Pathologists will tell us our risk for cancer based upon the results of this biopsy. For nodules that are greater than 4 centimeters they pose a particular problem not only because of size, but also because of risk factors. As the size of the nodule goes up, your risk of cancer also goes up, and in addition, larger nodules also do begin to compress on other parts of the neck, such as the windpipe or the esophagus, which is the swallowing tube, and sometimes will cause symptoms that are uncomfortable to the patient. So.
Nodules that are 4 centimeters or greater often need surgical excision not only because of their risk of cancer in the nodules, but also because as they grow any larger than 4 centimeters, compression symptoms generally become an issue, and they cause discomfort anyway. The biggest thing I can tell patients who have thyroid nodules is that you probably do not have thyroid cancer. As you can tell, many people live with thyroid nodules mostly unbeknownst to them, and the majority of these thyroid nodules are not cancerous and generally will not cause problems throughout the remainder of a.
Patient’s life. You can evaluate your risk factors based upon the size of the nodule you have, and the growth of the nodule, and if you’ve been exposed to things like radiation or other risk factors for cancer. But even in the highest risk groups, the chances of cancer are still very small. When looking for a physician to assist you with a thyroid nodule, you should look for someone who’s experienced an uptodate with the condition. If you’re specifically looking for a thyroid surgeon, you really want to look for somebody who has a high surgical volume.