Thyroid nodules are oversized bumps in an otherwise normal thyroid gland. In the gland more nodules can be developed, which can be divided into the following four types: cyst (soft, fluid-filled bag), area of bleeding (hemorrhage), benign neoplasms (adenoma) and malignant neoplasms – cancer (thyroid cancer). It is not known why thyroid nodules develop and why in some people more nodes occur. A thyroid nodule is usually seen as a swelling in front of the neck. A node is rarely painful or so large to cause difficulties in breathing or swallowing. If you suspect about the presence of a thyroid nodule, consult a doctor who will refer you to a specialist for tests.
What to do?
All kinds of nodules, with the exception of cancer, are fairly common and generally harmless. If the nodule is small and not growing, a specialist will perhaps advise you not to touch it. Large and aesthetically unpleasant cysts can be aspirated. If thyroid recording indicates that the nodule is probably cancer or adenoma, the surgeon will remove or destroy part of the thyroid or the entire thyroid (see Hyperthyroidism for further details). After this treatment you will probably need to take thyroxine pills for the rest of life since gland may no longer be able to secrete this hormone (see Hypothyroidism). Prospects for cancer of the thyroid are generally good, but with additional treatment most patients can fully recover.