Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Could it be thyroid cancer? When To Call The Doctor

When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if you have any of these signs of thyroid nodules:
  • Swelling in your neck for more than 2 weeks
  • A hoarse or scratchy voice that is not caused by a cold or throat infection and lasts longer than 1 month
  • A hard time swallowing or breathing
  • Symptoms of a thyroid problem such as feeling tired, weak, or nervous, losing weight, having trouble sleeping, or having a fast heartbeat
If you have had part of your thyroid gland removed because of noncancerous thyroid nodules, you will need regular medical checkups to make sure your thyroid gland is working well.

Watchful Waiting

For some kinds of health problems, you can wait and see what happens for a while before you and your doctor decide what kind of treatment you should have. This is called watchful waiting.
Because of the small risk of cancer, watchful waiting is not recommended for people with thyroid nodules.
Call your doctor if you have swelling in your neck that does not go away, problems swallowing, a hoarse or scratchy voice that has lasted several weeks, or any other symptoms of a thyroid problem.

Who To See

Different types of health professionals can help treat a thyroid problem.
  • Family medicine doctor or general practitioner
  • Internist
  • Pediatrician
  • Your doctor may also refer you to an endocrinologist for further tests and treatment.
If you need a special exam or treatment, you may see one of these types of doctors:
  • Nuclear medicine physician (a doctor who specializes in medicine using different types of radioactive substances)
  • Surgeon and/or Otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat specialist)

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