Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
Nodules and trouble swallowing
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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Nodules and trouble swallowing

Hello Dr.,

I am a 35 yo female, in normally good health with a BMI of 27 at 6'1".  About 3 months ago I started feeling like I had something stuck inside the lower right part of my throat. I ignored it for a while, but the feeling continued to get more bothersome.  I am loosing weight, tired, sick to my stomach ( I feel pregnant - but had a partial hysterectomy in 2003 so that is not it), and I am becoming more irritable. The lump feeling in my throat is getting bigger and when I swallow it is very uncomfortable.  I went to my primary care dr on Nov 6th and he noticed throat swelling at the base of my throat on the right side and felt my throat and lymph nodes.  He did not feel any issues with the lymph nodes.  He believes I have a nodule on my thyroid and does not think the weight loss is related to an over or under active issue.  My thyroid levels have been checked a couple of times in the past and everything was normal.  He also checked my throat and said everything else looks great.

My mother has hypothyroid issues, but was adopted, so further maternal family history is not available, but on my father's side, there are numerous cancer issues (lymph, throat, lung, bone, etc).  

I am concerned because from what I read, nodules are common, but normally found by a dr on a routine visit.  Not because of symptoms.  Is there an increased likelihood that this may be cancer related because of the symptoms? If this is a nodule, are meds the normal course of action, or is surgery more likely since whatever this is is pressing on my windpipe?

I have a thyroid ultrasound on Nov. 17th and an appt with ENT on Nov. 30th.  

Any information or insight that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Lisa
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The thyroid ultrasound is the appropriate next step.  FNA biopsy of any large/suspicious nodules would be next. 5-10% are cancer -- ie, most benign.  If all benign, but still with symptoms, then surgical removal should be discussed with the ENT.  If benign, and minimal/no symptoms then observation.  
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Mark Lupo, M.D.Blank
Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
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