Thyroid Tumors Q & A
Pain in your throat, difficulty swallowing, and a palpable lump on the front of your neck may be signs of a thyroid tumor. The skilled ENT specialists at SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat, located in Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Torrance, California, provide evaluations for surgical management of benign and cancerous thyroid and parathyroid tumors. If you think you may have a thyroid tumor, call the office or book an appointment online today.
What is a thyroid tumor?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of your neck. As part of your endocrine system, the thyroid makes hormones that regulate many important bodily functions, including your heart rate and metabolism. Two smaller glands on each side of the thyroid (parathyroid glands) regulate calcium levels.
Thyroid and parathyroid tumors are abnormal growths that develop on these glands. The team at SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat evaluates and treats benign tumors, also known as thyroid nodules, and malignant (cancerous) tumors.
How do I know if I have a thyroid tumor?
In its early stages, a thyroid tumor may be too small to cause signs or symptoms. As the tumor grows, you may experience:
- Lump or swelling in your neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain in the neck and ears
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Frequent coughing not related to a cold
Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all. They may find out they have a thyroid tumor if their doctor detects a lump or nodule in a routine physical exam.
How are thyroid tumors diagnosed?
First, the team at SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam. If they find a lump in your neck, they may take a biopsy. This test involves removing a small amount of the tumor tissue to check for cancerous cells.
Sometimes, biopsy results are unclear. If this happens, surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland may be necessary.
How are thyroid tumors treated?
After they diagnose your condition, the SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat team develops a personalized treatment plan. When recommending treatment, they consider the type and stage of your thyroid tumor as well as your overall health and personal preferences.
Treatment for benign tumors or small cancerous tumors may begin with monitoring the tumor. The team at SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat may recommend routine blood tests and neck ultrasounds to make sure the tumor isn’t growing.
Most people with thyroid cancer undergo surgery to remove the thyroid at some point. Non-cancerous thyroid tumors that cause symptoms, like difficulty swallowing, may also need surgery.
To learn more about your treatment options for thyroid tumors, call SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat, or book an appointment online today.