Tags: Thyroid Disorders | thyroid | nodules | undetected

What Happens When Thyroid Nodules Aren't Detected?

By    |   Thursday, 19 May 2016 08:37 PM

While most thyroid nodules remain small and do not cause serious problems, it is best if they are detected and monitored to avoid complications.

Thyroid nodules are fluid-filled or solid lumps that form within the thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of the throat just above the breastbone. If they are very small, it is likely they will not cause symptoms, says Mayo Clinic, and the nodules may only be detected if your physician does a routine exam of your thyroid. They are unlikely to be cancerous as thyroid cancer accounts for a small percentage of thyroid nodules.

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There are three types of thyroid nodules, explains WebMD: solid nodules, completely fluid-filled nodules or cystic nodules, and those that are partially fluid-filled or partially cystic. Cystic nodules can begin bleeding in some cases, causing the nodules to grow quickly and become painful. It is also possible to have several thyroid nodules at once of all three types.

Some thyroid nodules can become large enough to be seen and easily felt if they are left undetected and untreated, says the American Thyroid Association. Very large nodules can result in a “tickling” sensation in the throat, or they can compress the esophagus and windpipe, causing problems breathing or swallowing.

Although rare, some patients with thyroid nodules complain of pain in the neck, jaw, or ears.

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Thyroid nodules occasionally cause the thyroid gland to become overactive, explains Mayo Clinic. The resulting hyperthyroidism causes symptoms like unexplained weight loss, increased sensitivity to heat, tremors, anxiety and irritability, and rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Although most thyroid nodules are benign, it is important to be aware of the possibility of thyroid cancer, especially if you have any of the risk factors associated with thyroid cancer, says Mayo Clinic. A positive family history, being under the age of 30 or over the age of 60, male, and a history of radiation exposure all increase the risk of thyroid cancer. In these cases, physicians should perform a thyroid check routinely to detect thyroid nodules as early as possible.

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While most thyroid nodules remain small and do not cause serious problems, it is best if they are detected and monitored to avoid complications. Thyroid nodules are fluid-filled or solid lumps that form within the thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of the throat.
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2016-37-19
Thursday, 19 May 2016 08:37 PM
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