The thyroid system involves three glands to work together to produce thyroid hormones. These are thyroid gland, hypothalamus and the pituitary. The thyroid system maintains hormone balance. When an imbalance is created during the production of thyroid hormones, it may lead to the formation of lumps or tumor in the thyroid gland. These lumps can be cancerous and lead to thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer can be detected by performing biopsy of thyroid tissue.
Thyroid nodule refers to an abnormal growth of thyroid cells which form lumps within the thyroid gland. In most of the cases, thyroid nodules are benign or noncancerous which can be detected with the help of fine needle biopsy. If the cells are found to be malignant, they indicate thyroid cancer. Thyroid nodules can be removed even at a very early stage to avoid the development of thyroid cancer for high risk patients. Thyroid nodules are removed during the surgical procedure to remove thyroid, known as a lobectomy or a total thyroidectomy.
A closeup frontal view of enlarged multinodular thyroid goitre in a woman. The vast majority of thyroid goiters are benign (non-cancerous). But these symptoms are sometimes caused by thyroid cancer. Enlargement of the thyroid is due to the deficiency of iodine in diet. In multiple cases, goiter occurs due to the over or underproduction of thyroid hormones forming lumps. To detect whether goiter has resulted into thyroid cancer, a biopsy is recommended.
A close-up view of extremely large thyroid gland after the operation to remove it all in a patient. A lobectomy is a surgery to remove the lobes of thyroid gland. A total thyroidectomy involves the removal of the entire thyroid gland and the thyroid tissue when swelling or inflammation affects the entire thyroid gland or there are chances of occurrence of cancer. The patient may have a hoarse voice or sore throat for a few days after the removal of thyroid gland and thyroid hormone replacement medicines are prescribed.
Surgical neck scar after removal of the thyroid gland due to thyroid cancer. Removal of a part or complete thyroid gland is known as thyroidectomy whereas removal of any one of the lobes of the thyroid is known as lobectomy. The incision created is of four to five inches in length (depending on the type of surgery) and on the lower portion of the patient's neck. The scar might stay life-long in some cases.
Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of the thyroid is a diagnostic procedure to detect cancer in a thyroid nodule or to treat thyroid cysts. A fine needle aspiration biopsy of a thyroid nodule is a simple and safe procedure that can be performed in a doctor's office. You may feel some pressure in the neck from the ultrasound device and the needle.