5 Things You Must Know About Thyroid Cysts

Updated at: Nov 01, 2012
5 Things You Must Know About Thyroid Cysts

5 Things You Must Know about Thyroid Cysts— Thyroid cysts can be malignant or non-malignant in nature, thus it is important to be equipped with relevant information.

Gunjan Rastogi
CancerWritten by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Oct 19, 2012

Things You Must Know About Thyroid Cysts

Thyroid cysts are fluid filled swelling on the thyroid gland that usually do not interrupt the normal functioning of the gland.  Cysts are usually small and do manifest in form of any symptoms. However, in rare cases, cysts may be malignant, thus it is important to be aware of all the aspects of thyroid cysts and the possible risk of thyroid cancer. Take a look at the five facts you must know about thyroid cysts.


[Read: All About Thyroid Cysts]


Thyroid Cysts are a Type of Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid cysts that appear on the thyroid gland are one type of thyroid nodule. There can be a single cyst or multiple cysts (colloid) on the thyroid gland. Colloid is a collection of many small thyroid cysts that can be malignant or non-malignant in nature. If the colloid starts interfering with body’s normal thyroid functioning, it may be removed surgically. Thyroid cysts are usually filled with liquid, but they may also carry solid components. The complex cyst which carry both solid component and fluid is often diagnosed for malignancy.

Rarely are Thyroid Cysts Cancerous

Although the thought of thyroid cysts is a little nerve wracking yet you must understand that the chances of it developing into cancer are relatively low. Your doctor will perform a biopsy to identify if it’s a malignant cyst or a normal cyst that will heal itself or with thyroid medications.  If your doctor notices enlarged and solid cysts in your thyroid gland, you may be advised to undergo diagnostic tests for thyroid cancer. However, only five per cent of thyroid cysts are cancerous in nature.


[Read: Tips to Prevent Thyroid Cancer]


If you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, considering your age and general health conditions your doctor will advise you a cancer treatment on the basis of your cancer stage and size.  

Few Symptoms indicate Malignancy

Thyroid cysts are asymptomatic and often not diagnosed until your doctor conducts a throat examination . But, if the cyst is large, a visible lump may appear on your throat. The symptoms of thyroid cysts that may indicate the possibility of malignancy include:

  • rapid growth of the thyroid cyst
  • hard cyst
  • hoarse voice
  • trouble in swallowing food
  • an enlarged lymph node under your jaw that can be felt.


Fine Needle Aspiration

This is the most commonly used method to determine the nature of the cyst. This method is ultrasound-guided. If the thyroid cyst contains solid mass, the doctor will remove the cells of the lump. If the cyst carries fluid, then it will be surgically removed. The removed specimen will be examined under a microscope to study if it is cancerous or benign.

How will your Doctor Treat Thyroid Cyst?

If the cyst is not cancerous, your doctor may not opt for surgery. He will drain the cyst with the help of the ultrasound imaging and will theneject tetracycline or ethanol into it. This will significantly lower  chances of recurrence. The doctor may recommend surgery in case of recurring cyst.

If the cyst is found to be malignant, your doctor may refer you to an oncologist for the appropriate treatment of thyroid cancer.

Read more articles on Thyroid Cancer.



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