The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck. Although relatively small, the thyroid gland plays a huge role in our body, influencing the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. Ensuring that the thyroid gland is healthy and functioning properly is vitally important to the body’s overall well-being.
Sadly, the incidence of thyroid cancer diagnosis has been steadily increasing over the past 20 years. It is unclear if this increase in incidence is due to increased detection or if it is simply becoming a more common cancer or a combination of the two. According to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute (SEER), the survival rate for thyroid cancer remains high. The current 5-year survival rate is 98.2%.
Normally, the thyroid lets out just the right amount of hormones to keep your body running smoothly, however, sometimes there is an interference. There could be a number of reasons why your thyroid is not performing well but if you have sudden hoarseness that does not go away, trouble swallowing, a lump or swelling of the neck it should be investigated immediately.
It is important for everyone to have their annual wellness checkup which should include thyroid palpation. If you have any questions or concerns about your thyroid, give our office a call at 916.351.9355.