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Thyroid Cyst

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Normal

Abnormal
  • A thyroid cyst is a fluid-filled sac located in the thyroid gland.  Cysts may be small (< 1cm) or large; they may develop slowly or appear suddenly.  Some cysts may be entirely made up of fluid, while others contain some solid components.
  • Hemorrhage or bleeding may occur within the cyst and, if severe, may enlarge or expand and produce symptoms in the neck, such as pain and difficulty swallowing.  The vocal cords may be compressed as a result, leading to a change in voice (hoarseness, etc.).
  • Diagnosis of a cystic thyroid mass is made by observation or palpation by the physician, and confirmed by an Ultrasound of the neck.
  • Fluids in the cysts may be drained using a fine needle and sent for cellular analysis, since some cysts may harbor a small thyroid cancer.
  • Cysts may be removed and if cancerous, undergo appropriate treatment (see thyroid cancers).





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