is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. It is divided into two sections or lobes that lay against the sides of the esophagus, connected by a bridge (isthmus). The thyroid produces the hormone thyroxine, which is in charge of the body’s metabolic system (the energy system). In some cases, abnormalities of the thyroid may require the removal of half or all of the thyroid, a procedure known as thyroidectomy
Most thyroid nodules are benign (non-cancerous) and only a small percentage are cancerous.
- Benign nodules include:
- Cysts or fluid-filled lumps
- Ordinary nodules within the thyroid that are usually small and don’t place pressure on nearby organs
- Nodules that occur due to inflammation or infection of the thyroid, such as abscesses
- Malignant tumors or thyroid cancer
These may originate from the thyroid or are metastatic cancer from another part of the body. The appearance, size, and growth rate of cancerous nodules depend on the pathology of the cells. Some cancerous thyroid nodules grow very quickly and will push against nearby organs and the cancer cells will spread to nearby lymph nodes.