The detection rate of thyroid nodules has increased day by day in recent years, becoming one of the most popular diseases in endocrinology consultation and treatment.
If the diagnosis of [thyroid nodule] is also impressively written on your physical examination report, it is recommended to read this article carefully.
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How to find thyroid nodules?
Thyroid nodules refer to one or more structural abnormalities in the thyroid gland.
Most patients with thyroid nodules have no clinical symptoms, which are often discovered by themselves or touched by doctors during physical examination, and are more often discovered by chance during ultrasound or other auxiliary examinations.
Are there many people with thyroid nodules?
According to the 2010 China Epidemiological Sampling Survey, the total incidence rate of thyroid nodules in the population was 18.6%.
Such a large number is not only due to the increase of the disease itself, but also due to people’s attention to health and the popularity of physical examination, especially thyroid ultrasound and other examinations are listed as routine items of health examination. This sensitive physical examination method has led to the discovery of thyroid nodules previously [hidden in purdah, unknown to people] in the first place.
What if thyroid nodules are detected?
There is no need to panic too much when thyroid nodules are found. Statistics show that about 95% of thyroid nodules are benign and about 5% are malignant (i.e. Thyroid cancer). The most important thing is to evaluate and differentiate benign and malignant thyroid nodules.
1. These are high-risk factors for thyroid cancer:
- History of head and neck radiation exposure or exposure to radioactive dust in childhood; History of systemic radiotherapy; Having past or family history of thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine adenomatosis type 2 (MEN2) and other diseases; Male; Nodules grow rapidly; Accompanied by persistent hoarseness, dysphonia and exclusion of vocal cord lesions; Accompanied by dysphagia or dyspnea; The shape of nodules is irregular and adheres and fixates with surrounding tissues. With pathological enlargement of cervical lymph nodes.
2. Do relevant examinations to check whether it is malignant nodule:
Having high-risk factors does not mean that it is a tumor. The following examinations should be completed:
(1) Serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level
For patients with thyroid nodules, the risk of papillary thyroid cancer increases with the increase of TSH level. If the nodule is large and TSH is reduced, thyroid radionuclide imaging is recommended to determine whether the nodule has autonomous uptake function.
(2) Other blood tests
For example, when calcitonin > 100 pg/mL, it indicates that medullary thyroid carcinoma may be higher, and the screening significance is limited due to its low specificity. Thyroglobulin (TG), another commonly used indicator, is not recommended for differentiating benign from malignant nodules because various thyroid diseases can cause TG levels to rise.
(3) Ultrasonography of the neck
Thyroid ultrasound can confirm the existence of nodules, determine the size, number, location, texture (solid or cystic), shape, boundary, calcification, blood supply and the relationship between surrounding tissues of nodules, and also evaluate the presence and size of lymph nodes in the neck region.
If the ultrasound report is: