Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Thyroid Neoplasms Treatment?
At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our specialists have access to the most innovative diagnostic techniques and treatments for thyroid neoplasms. Our experts offer personalized therapy options that aim to treat underlying conditions and relieve symptoms.
The thyroid is a small gland located in the frontal region of the neck, below the Adam’s apple, and has as main function the secretion of hormones integral to growth and developmental functions in the body. Thyroid neoplasms, or thyroid nodules, are lumps that can form inside the thyroid. They can be filled with fluid or can be solid. The nodules that develop within the thyroid gland can be benign, which do not cause any symptoms and are not considered to be serious; or they can be malignant, which are less common, but are considered more dangerous, requiring immediate treatment. Most cases of thyroid nodules are diagnosed during routine checks. There is a wide range of treatment options available for all types of thyroid nodules, and the majority of cases have a positive prognosis.
Surgical Procedures Performed at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Thyroid Neoplasms
A benign thyroid nodule can sometimes require surgical intervention, especially if the size restricts breathing or swallowing, or becomes uncomfortable for the patient. Additionally, nodules that cause an excessive amount of thyroid hormones, leading to hyperthyroidism, can also be surgically removed if medications prove to be ineffective. When patients are diagnosed with malignant thyroid neoplasms, they are generally recommended to undergo surgery in order to have these growths removed as well other areas of the thyroid that have been affected. It is important to mention that all the patients who have their thyroid gland removed will need replacement hormone treatments for the duration of their lives.
The surgical procedures performed when dealing with thyroid neoplasms are:
- Lobectomy: This type of surgical procedure is commonly performed when the patient is diagnosed with small nodules that did not spread beyond the thyroid. A lobectomy consists of a small cut made in the frontal part of the neck. Exposing the thyroid gland, the thyroid lobe that presents abnormalities is removed.
- Thyroidectomy: This surgical procedure is performed in a similar manner to a lobectomy, but its purpose is to completely remove the thyroid gland. After having the thyroid removed, patients are prescribed medications such as levothyroxine to replace thyroid hormones.
- Lymph node removal: It is not uncommon for malignant neoplasms to spread to the adjacent lymph nodes requiring surgical removal of the lymph nodes.
Drugs and Other Treatments for Thyroid Neoplasms
Depending on the type of thyroid neoplasm the patient is diagnosed with, the specialist will recommend one of the following treatment methods:
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There are two main types of thyroid neoplasms, benign and malignant. Additionally, there are several different types of malignant neoplasms.
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Symptoms of Thyroid Neoplasms
The most common symptoms associated with thyroid neoplasms are:
Diagnosis of Thyroid Neoplasms
The most frequently used diagnosis techniques when dealing with thyroid neoplasms are:
- Physical exam: During this examination, a specialist will generally look for signs and symptoms of thyroid abnormalities. The most common sign is one or more lumps in the thyroid area. The most common symptoms of thyroid conditions that can be noticed during a physical exam are irregular heartbeat, rapid or slow heartbeat, dry skin, swelling, or overly active reflexes.
- Thyroid function tests: These tests measure the levels of thyroxine and triiodothyronine in the patient's blood, which can indicate whether they are suffering from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
- Ultrasonography: This imagining technique is useful for the detection of nodules, as it uses high-frequency sound waves and by using it, the specialists can distinguish between solid nodules and cysts.
- Fine-needle aspiration: This is a biopsy technique that helps the specialist determine whether the patient is suffering from benign neoplasms or malignant neoplasms.
- Thyroid scan: This technique is sometimes recommended to patients who have already been diagnosed with nodules. During a thyroid scan, a specialist can determine what type of nodules the patient is presenting.
Risk Factors for Thyroid Neoplasms
Some of the most important risk factors associated with the formation of thyroid neoplasms are:
- Sex: Most types of thyroid neoplasms are more commonly found in women.
- Age: Patients over the age of 40 are more frequently diagnosed with thyroid conditions than people of other ages.
- Smoking: People who smoke have an increased chance of developing malignant thyroid neoplasms.
- Oral contraceptives: These medications have been associated with papillary thyroid carcinoma.
- Radiation exposure: Being exposed to certain types of radiation can contribute to the formation of malignant thyroid neoplasms.
- Family history: People who have a family history of thyroid neoplasms can have an increased chance of developing thyroid conditions.
Causes of Thyroid Neoplasms
The main causes that lead to the development of thyroid neoplasms are:
- Iodine deficiency: A diet that does not contain sufficient amounts of iodine can sometimes lead to the formation of thyroid nodules. However, in a lot of countries, including the United States, iodine is normally added to table salt, so iodine deficiencies are less common.
- Abnormal growth of thyroid tissue: What causes this abnormal growth of thyroid tissue is not clear, but this growth is called a thyroid adenoma and although it is not thought to be a serious condition, it can sometimes become uncomfortable or lead to conditions such as hyperthyroidism.
- Thyroiditis: This condition results the inflammation of the thyroid gland and can trigger the growth of thyroid neoplasms.
Thyroid neoplasms can be serious, especially if they are malignant. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to ask for your doctor’s advice before trying any alternative treatments. Generally, these alternative treatments can be beneficial to patients suffering from benign neoplasms. Some of the most common alternative treatments for thyroid neoplasms are:
- Fulvic acid: This natural substance is a powerful antioxidant, also known as shilajit in India, is thought to possess a wide range of healing properties.
- Sargassum tea: This tea is recommended by Chinese herbalists to people who suffer from an iodine deficiency.
- Ginger and licorice: These plants are considered beneficial for people affected by thyroid nodules, as they can reduce the swelling in the neck area and make the nodules less visible.
- Iodine: The iodine deficiency is thought to trigger the formation of thyroid neoplasms, thus, iodine rich diets can be beneficial for people dealing with thyroid problems. The most common source of iodine is iodized salt, seafood, and shellfish.
- Raw vegetables: Certain vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beans, turnips, and cauliflower can be beneficial for patients who are suffering from hyperthyroidism. However, these vegetables are not recommended for patients affected by hypothyroidism.
- Exercise and acupuncture: Certain physical exercises or acupuncture therapy can help reduce the symptoms associated with thyroid conditions.
Although the formation of thyroid neoplasms cannot always be prevented, there are certain things you can do or certain things you can avoid in order to lower your chances of developing these thyroid neoplasms. By avoiding radiation, especially during childhood, by not smoking, by doing certain tests that can reveal your predisposition for thyroid problems, you can prevent the formation of thyroid neoplasms. Additionally, in order to avoid any complications associated with the malfunction of the thyroid gland, it is strongly recommended to do routine checkups and to visit your doctor periodically.
Are you suffering from thyroid neoplasms? You can always learn more about thyroid problems and how to treat and cure them by getting in touch with our specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.