An enlarged thyroid is quite common and it has the lovely name GOITER. Such large or irregular thyroid glands can be associated with low thyroid levels, high thyroid levels, normal thyroid levels (most common), or the lumps and bumps can be signs of thyroid cancer.
In fact thyroids are so irregular, we know that if we look at the thyroid with ultrasound we will often find some variations and nodules that would otherwise go undetected. Unfortunately, there is a tendency by some physicians to do endless ultrasounds and evaluations of these minor findings, even going so far as to biopsy these small nodules. If such small lesions are found to have cancerous cells, surgery or radiation therapy is recommended, but often this is overtreatment and overdiagnosis of a common and non-life-threatening condition. For this reason, patients need to be aware of these concerns and get a second opinion before embarking on a large evaluation and treatment program for such ‘hidden’ nodules. Good judgement in such situations, education of the patient, and an open discussion is the best way to manage such findings in an expectant manner.