What is goiter/thyroid nodule/thyroid cancer?

 

Goiter refers to the abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. It can occur in hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone), or in hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone), or in euthyroidism (correct amount of thyroid hormone).9

 

Goiters are most commonly caused by iodine deficiency. When there is not enough iodine in the diet, the thyroid tries to compensate by enlarging. Other diseases, such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can also cause goiter.

 

Thyroid nodules occur when there are abnormal growths of thyroid tissue. There may be a single nodule, or multiple nodules. These can produce thyroid hormone (toxic nodules). Sometimes, these growths may be malignant (thyroid cancer).

 

Thyroid cancer is rare compared to other cancers, but is considered very treatable and usually has high survival rates.10

References: 9. American Thyroid Association. Goiter. Accessed from: http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/Goiter_brochure.pdf on August 2016. 10. American Thyroid Association. Thyroid Cancer. Accessed from: http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/ThyroidCancer_brochure.pdf on August 2016.