ALL lumps on the neck requires an ENT specialist consult! Not all lumps on the neck are thyroid in origin and may be a sign of an underlying disease.
Goiter and thyroid cancer is very prevalent in the Philippines. Thyroid cancers also tend to be more aggressive in Filipinos. Fortunately, thyroid diseases are easy to diagnose and treat. The prognosis of the disease is very favorable as long as early detection and treatment is initiated.
Who are candidates for thyroid screening?
A physical examination with your ENT specialist is the best screening tool. It is recommended that everybody undergo a physical examination of their thyroid gland. Your specialist may ask questions related to this and may require some further diagnostic testing like and ultrasound, fine needle biopsy or ultrasound guided needle biopsy.
What treatment is available for thyroid disease?
Thyroid disorders may range from benign goiter, functional thyroid disease (hyper / hypo thyroidism), to thyroid cancer. Each has its own treatment. In benign thyroid disorders, conservative management may be initiated. Functional thyroid disease will need medical treatment or even radioactive treatment. In others, surgical removal may be required. Thyroid cancer on the other hand will need surgery. In the Philippines, thyroid cancers has a higher incidence in Filipinos based oninternational studies of thyroid diseasemust ne more aggressive and carry a high index of suspicion.
What tests do I need to evaluate my thyroid gland?
This will depend on your ENT specialist. Out center is equipped with tests like ultrasound, fine needle aspiration biopsy(FNAB) , ultrasound guided fine needle biopsy, thyroid scans to name a few.
What are the indications of thyroid surgery?
In general, there are 3 C’s for thyroid surgery. Cancer, Compression and Cosmesis. Cancer surgery involves removal of the whole gland and areas of the neck which may be contaminated. If there is compression of the neck structures causing pressure or difficulty swallowing, thyroid surgery may be required. Large goiters pose also a cosmetic deformity on the neck and may be indicated for surgical removal. Consult your ENT specialist to discuss your options.