Finding new lumps anywhere in the body is always a stressful event, isn't it?
Thousands of people ask their doctors to make an appointment as soon as possible, when noticed a nodule in the neck.
Thyroid gland is a small butterfly-like formation, situated in the front area of your neck. Most of us don't see it in the mirror and don’t feel when touching the neck. This gland creates hormones, called thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which are able to control body temperature, periods and fertility, ways you use energy (metabolism), brain performance and skin appearance.
If you've found a lump in the neck, it's probably a thyroid nodule. Some nodules grow so big that it becomes really difficult to swallow, while other lumps can be found only by medical specialist during routine examination.
Actually women are three times more likely to have thyroid nodules than men. Statistics shows that approximately 30% of women in 30s have lumps within their butterfly-shaped glands. And this risk grows with passing years. Thus, your chances of having thyroid nodule in the age of 70 are nearly 70%.
The good news is that most nodules, developed in the thyroid gland, are benign. However 2-3 of them appear to be malignant, according to the American Cancer Society’s data.
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Some nodules can produce excessive amount of thyroxine, leading to hyperthyroidism. In this disorder people usually feel extremely irritable and nervous all the time. They lose weight even without trying, though appetite is commonly increased.
Women with overactive thyroid nodule may also complain of irregular, scanty menses and heart palpitations.
Experts convince that hormone-produced nodules are almost 100% non-cancerous.
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In the majority of cases nodules are filled with liquid or colloid material (packed form of thyroxine). This sacs are called cysts.
Solid lumps are made up of cells and don't contain as much fluid, as cysts. It was found that firm cellular nodules contain cancerous cells more often than cysts.
If you feel numerous nodules in your swollen thyroid gland, it can be multinodular goiter.
It's not really possible to know exactly, whether your nodule is benign or cancerous, if not testing it professionally.
Your doctor might use blood tests, imagine tests (like ultrasound, CT, radioiodine scan etc.) and biopsy to discern between non-cancerous and malignant lumps.
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