Silver Cross Offers Free Lecture about Thyroid Nodules March 19
The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland plays a crucial role in our overall health. Located at the base of the neck, this tiny glad is responsible for releasing hormones throughout the body that control body temperature, breathing, heart rate, body weight and more.
It’s also prone to forming small fluid-filled or solid lumps called nodules. In fact, according to the American Thyroid Association, by age 60, half of all people can develop a nodule; fortunately 90 percent of these are not serious and don’t cause symptoms.
“Nodules on the thyroid gland are due to an overgrowth of cells that can form lumps. Some nodules can become large enough in size that they can be felt or seen at the base of your neck or press on your windpipe causing difficulty swallowing,” states Thomas Vasdekas, M.D., general surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.
Causes include an overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue, chronic inflammation of the thyroid, a multi-nodular goiter and thyroid cancer. In rare circumstances, iodine deficiency in the diet can contribute to nodules developing, but this is uncommon in the United States where iodine is added to foods and table salt.
Most thyroid nodules don’t cause symptoms, but in some they can increase the hormones secreted from the gland, producing symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as rapid or irregular heartbeat, increased sweating, trouble sleeping, muscle weakness and unexplained weight loss. You should seek medical care if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have difficulty swallowing or breathing.
If your physician suspects a nodule or thyroid issue, he or she will conduct a full physical examination to ensure the thyroid is healthy and working properly, and rule out the possibility of cancer. This can be done by ordering blood tests or diagnostic imaging of the thyroid gland.
“Fortunately, few thyroid nodules are cancerous. If you have non-cancerous nodules, there is a variety of non-invasive treatments available. If cancer is present, your doctor will discuss your options – usually involving surgery – to remove the nodule and the effected tissue,” Dr. Vasdekas added.
Free Lecture about Thyroid Nodule Diagnosis and Management
To find out more, attend a free lecture presented by general surgeon Thomas Vasdekas M.D., to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and the latest treatment options for thyroid nodules. Thyroid Nodule Diagnosis & Management will be presented at the Silver Cross Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox: Tuesday, March 19, 6 p.m. Register at www.silvercross.org or call (888) 660-HEAL (4325).