Well, the brief answer is we don’t know. Nodules can form for several reasons. Some of the most important of these reasons for thyroid nodules include the following:
- Colloid nodules are formed by overgrowths of thyroid tissue.
Since they are mere overgrowths of normal thyroid tissue, they are benign. They may grow large but won’t spread. They are also the most common type.
- Thyroid cysts are growths filled with fluid.
They are at least partially filled with fluid and do pose a low risk for malignancy (which can cause cancer). They are either monitored or can be biopsied in case they get larger than two centimetres.
- Inflammatory nodules are caused by chronic swelling in the thyroid gland.
They are caused if there was a long-term swelling or inflammation in the thyroid gland and may or may not cause pain.
- Multinodular goitre is goitre made of many nodules. Most of these nodules are benign.
- Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules are the nodules that lead to hyperthyroidism.
They can cause hyperthyroidism by producing extra thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism will need medical treatment.
Thyroid Cancer is the biggest medical concern when it comes to thyroid nodules. Up to 6.5 percent of cases with thyroid nodules may have cancer.
Diagnosis of thyroid nodules
In most cases, these nodules are either discovered by the patient themself or by their physician during a physical exam or an imaging test done due to some other medical reason. In most cases, they are going to be harmless, yet it is imperative to do a further test to ensure that they won’t be malign.
The health care provider may order any of the following tests for the purpose:
As the name suggests, a thyroid blood test will check the levels of thyroid hormone in one’s blood. The hormone levels in question are usually normal even if the patient does have nodules – and thus, a normal result is inconclusive, but they can be abnormal in other cases, and that would point to thyroid disease.
The imaging test uses ultrasound waves to create images of a patient’s thyroid gland. One of the biggest advantages of this test is that it can determine if a nodule is solid or a fluid-filled cyst. It can also check the growth of nodules, and that will help find nodules that may be otherwise difficult to feel. The test is one of the more accurate tests and can also help find a place for the needle during a fine-needle biopsy (discussed below).
This biopsy, as its name suggests, involves the use of a very thin needle. The needle is used to just take a sample of cells from one or more thyroid nodules. These cell samples can be evaluated through laboratory tests. In most cases, the results will be conclusive that the nodules are benign. In other cases, they may show inconclusive results, and the biopsy might have to be repeated.
The test involves first taking a small amount of radioactive Iodine orally. Afterward, a scan is done to check how much of this radioactive Iodine was absorbed by your normal thyroid tissue and how much was absorbed by the thyroid nodules. This information can then be analysed by physicians to determine the likelihood of cancer.
How to get thyroid nodule treatment?
The thyroid nodule treatment option will depend on the nature of thyroid nodules. In the case of benign nodules, the best strategy is to do nothing but monitor the nodules for changes. Some other treatments include the following:
Radioactive Iodine can be used as a thyroid nodule treatment hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules. The nodules will absorb Iodine and shrink. It is the perfect thyroid nodule treatment without surgery.
Thyroid nodule removal surgery
Thyroid nodule removal surgery is the best treatment in most cases of cancerous thyroid nodules, especially those that cause problems in breathing or swallowing. Thyroid nodule removal surgery is only done in case of malignant nodes.
Thyroid calcification treatment
Apart from Thyroid nodule removal surgery, a Thyroid calcification treatment may also be desirable in some cases. Calcification is the formation of calcium deposits in and around the thyroid. It is a rather common phenomenon in benign as well as malignant thyroid nodules. They are also an indicator that the nodules are more likely to be cancerous. Dr. Gangwani offers best thyroid calcification treatment in India.
How to prevent thyroid nodules?
Since we do not know what causes thyroid nodules in most cases, it is not always possible to prevent them. However, a lot can be done to reduce one’s susceptibility to them. Some of the measures you can easily take to reduce the thyroid nodule threat include the following:
- Lose weight in case you are obese. Reducing obesity can also help reduce your susceptibility to other health issues,
- Drink less alcohol or avoid it altogether. Drinking less will also help you reduce obesity.
- Consume Iodine in the diet. Using Iodised table salt is the perfect way of ensuring that.
- Stop smoking or at least reduce it.
- Taking oral birth control and/or statins can also help.
What about the prognosis for thyroid nodules?
The prognosis for benign thyroid nodules is immense, and they often don’t need treatment. Only a small percentage of benign thyroid nodules might cause thyroid disease, which is also treatable. The problem comes with malignant thyroid nodules and will vary on several factors, including:
- The kind of cancer.
- Patient’s age at diagnosis.
- The size of the nodule or tumour in question.
- Whether it has spread to nearby tissues, such as lymph nodes.
- Whether it has metastasized to distant parts of the patient’s body.
If the patient does have thyroid cancer, then the healthcare provider can provide a more accurate prognosis for the specific case.
When to see a healthcare provider about a thyroid nodule?
If a person notices a bump in their thyroid, they should see a physician about it even if there are no further symptoms. Even if the nodule is benign, it is important to get it regularly checked by a physician.
Impact of Thyroid Nodules Different In The Case Of Children
Answer: As noted above, thyroid nodules are far less common in children. In cases where they are present, they are far more likely to be malignant in children. Apart from that, the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment are the same for children and adults.
Dr. Gaurav Gangwani provides the best thyroid nodule treatment without surgery in India. Not only thyroid nodule removal surgery and thyroid nodule treatment without surgery, but we also provide treatments and surgeries for several other health problems. For best treatment for varicose veins, diabetic foot ulcer ointment etc., contact us now.