Neck & thyroid masses
Simply having a lump, or nodule, in the thyroid gland is actually common. Nodules may be discovered on a physical exam by a doctor, on a CT scan or other imaging test for another condition, or by the patients themselves.
Most thyroid nodules are benign, meaning they are not cancer and are therefore very unlikely to cause the patient harm.
The job of the thyroid gland is to make thyroid hormone. Some patients have conditions in which the gland makes either too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) thyroid hormone.
Evaluation of a Thyroid Nodule
When a patient is diagnosed with a thyroid nodule, a number of tests are used to determine the likelihood of it being cancer. The tests used most often include blood tests, a needle biopsy, and an ultrasound of the neck. Less common tests include a nuclear medicine scan, CT and MRI scans.
Thyroid cancer is diagnosed in about 60,000 people per year in the United States.
Treatment of thyroid cancer typically involves surgical removal of the thyroid gland, as well as some of the adjacent lymph nodes, and in most cases the administration of radioactive iodine.
Thankfully, the prognosis for most patients with thyroid cancer is very favorable. Cure rates for the most common types are greater than 90%.
Dr. John A. Garside, M.D., specializes in treating patients with neck and thyroid masses. We work with our patients to determine individualized treatment options for their condition.