The thyroid is a gland located in the front of the neck. It is common for people, especially older individuals, to develop nodules on the gland. These nodules usually remain undiscovered, but when they are found, they should be tested to determine whether the growth is cancerous. Most thyroid nodules are benign, or noncancerous.
Dr. Anbar Ahmad has experience with many diseases of the thyroid. She and the experts at North Georgia Endocrinology are committed to offering excellent care for patients with thyroid disease.
Often, thyroid nodules cause no symptoms at all and are discovered by chance. Some patients notice a gradual increase in the size of the nodule and occasionally report discomfort when swallowing. If a lump is detected, it should be tested to determine if it is benign or cancerous.
There are several classifications of benign nodules, such as:
- Benign follicular adenomas
- Multinodular goiter, or non-toxic goiter
- Chronic thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s disease)
- Thyroid cysts, or fluid-filled nodules
Nodules are the result of overgrowth of thyroid tissue, inflammation, fluid-filled cysts or a tumor (benign or cancerous). Surgery is not necessary for most growths. After determining the nature of the nodule, most patients can simply continue to observe its growth or treat it medically.
Thyroid cancer, or carcinoma, generally appears as a lump on one side of the thyroid. It is possible for the lump to interfere with swallowing, speaking or breathing. If a lump is detected, notify your physician, even if you don’t have any other symptoms.
In order reach a proper diagnosis, North Georgia Endocrinology will consider your medical history, symptoms and test results. Some of the procedures commonly used are:
- Blood work
- Neck/thyroid ultrasound
- Fine needle biopsy
- Thyroid scan
With the information derived from these and other medical exams, Dr. Anbar Ahmad will determine a diagnosis and create a treatment plan for you.
Treatment for thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer
After reaching a diagnosis, North Georgia Endocrinology will make a personalized recommendation for treatment. Many patients with benign nodules require no specific treatment other than continued observation. Medications may also be prescribed for certain conditions.
If the nodule is cancerous, surgery is usually recommended to remove part or all of the thyroid gland. Follow-up care will be needed after surgery. The professionals at North Georgia Endocrinology we will be here to help through the entire process.