The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that control metabolism in the body. The thyroid gland can sometimes develop solid or fluid-filled lumps (cysts). These lumps often do not cause symptoms and many of them are found incidentally during a medical consultation for another problem or during routine check-ups.
Although most of these lumps are not cancerous lumps, a small proportion of them will be cancerous. Some of these lumps may also cause problems when they grow larger and compress on other structures in the neck causing swallowing and breathing difficulties. Some of these lumps may also secrete too much thyroid hormone that may cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
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