Thyroid cancer is cancer that begins in the thyroid gland. Symptoms typically include a painless lump in the neck. Less frequent symptoms can include difficulty swallowing, persistent cough, and hoarseness. Risk factors for thyroid cancer include strong family history as well as history of exposure to radiation (either from radiation therapy for other cancers, or occupational exposure). Initial treatment of this cancer includes surgery to remove the thyroid, followed by radioactive iodine. Postoperatively patients will require thyroid hormone replacement.
A thyroid goiter is abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. A goiter is typically present with both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing (rare) and swallowing, visible swelling at the base of the neck, etc. Risk factors include an iodine deficiency, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, pregnancy, and thyroiditis.
Thyroid Nodules are lumps filled with fluid that form in your thyroid. Most nodules are asymptomatic, however large nodules can compress the trachea which can cause some shortness of breath. Treatment depends on the size of the nodules, the appearance on ultrasound, as well as family history. Small nodules can be observed with yearly repeat thyroid ultrasounds. In nodules larger than 1 cm, often an ultrasound guided FNA can be performed to determine the nature of the nodule.
Ultrasound Guided FNA of Thyroid Nodules
Ultrasound guided FNA of thyroid nodules are performed when a nodule cannot be felt or if the nodule is cystic and correct placement of the needle is important to obtain a sample of the solid, not cystic component. An ultrasound is used to guide the needle to the abnormal nodule.
Call Waco Ear, Nose & Throat at (254) 776-7744 for more information or to schedule an appointment.