Thyroid Nodules 101: Most are Harmless, A Few are Cancers but Still There is No Rush to Surgery as nodules or cancer are Never an Emergency or Life Threatening.
A lump in the throat not always cause for alarm
1. Thyroid nodules are lumps that form inside the thyroid gland. They may be filled with fluid or thyroid tissue.
2.They are quite common and most people who have them don’t notice it, until their doctor discovers it during a routine examination.
3. Thyroid nodules affect between 3-7% of the general population.
4. 50% of people over 40 years of age have nodules..
5. Only about 5% of the population have a thyroid nodule that can be easily felt.
6. Thyroid nodules tend to be more common in women than in men, and are also more common in older people.
7. Five in every 100 nodules do contain cancer.■ Thyroid cyst: A thyroid cyst in a lump that is usually filled with fluid. Sometimes solid components may be mixed with fluid in thyroid cysts.
Iodine deficiency A lack of iodine in your diet can sometimes cause your thyroid gland to develop thyroid nodules. But iodine deficiency is uncommon in Ireland where iodine is routinely added to table salt and other foods.
■ Ongoing inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis): A thyroid disorder called Hashimoto’s disease, can cause inflammation of the thyroid which results in enlargement of thyroid nodules. This often is associated with hypothyroidism (reduced activity of the thyroid gland).
■ Thyroid cancer: You are at higher risk of thyroid cancer if you have a family history of thyroid or other endocrine cancers; are younger than 30 years or older than 60 years of age; or have a history of radiation exposure, particularly to the head and neck.
Most thyroid nodules cause no symptoms at all. It is usually noticed if a person feels a lump in their throat or notices a swelling in the throat area in the mirror. Sometimes your doctor may notice the swelling during a routine examination.
Ultrasound of typical benign spongiform nodule that is 99% benign and does not need a biopsy.