Over the course of their lives, some patients will feel a nodule on their thyroid gland. This usually manifests as a small bump on the neck. While most of these nodules are benign, there is the possibility of a malignant tumor, which requires removing part or all of the thyroid gland. Even if the nodule is suspicious, meaning that it cannot be confirmed as benign or malignant, it will still have to be removed and analyzed. In most cases however, cells are removed for analysis using a tiny needle. This is called Fine Needle Aspiration and is usually the only diagnostic measure we need.
Some patients also develop an enlarged thyroid, referred to as a goiter. Goiters are not caused by cancer formation and are in fact the result of one or more issues, not least of which are nutritional deficiencies or hormonal imbalances. For some patients, especially with a smaller sized goiter, lifestyle modification may be enough to reduce its size. Some goiters respond to thyroid hormone and others will require surgical removal especially if they are causing quality-of-life problems.
When Should You Seek Medical Help for Thyroid Issues?
Any form of enlargement or abnormality of the thyroid gland should be evaluated by your primary care physician and/or a specialist as soon as possible. Thyroid cancer is serious, but can also be caught early to allow for the greatest number of treatment options.
What to Consider Before Thyroid Surgery
When considering thyroid surgery, it is, of course, most important to ensure that any malignant cells have been removed. However, many patients are rightly concerned about the appearance of scarring at the surgical site. Please contact us to learn more about how our thyroid surgery techniques minimize the appearance of scarring in such a sensitive area.