Parish Nurse Update: January 22, 2012

posted Jan 25, 2012, 9:37 AM by St. Joseph Cheyenne
Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid filled lumps in the thyroid. Most thyroid 
nodules do not cause symptoms and are benign (around 90%), a small percentage are cancerous. Your Dr. /NP may find it during a routine physical exam and will want to determine if the nodules are cancerous or benign. Some tests that may be ordered are: 1.) A thyroid function test to check for too much or too little thyroid hormone. 2.) A thyroid ultrasonography to evaluate the shape, structure, number, and type of nodules. 3.) A fine needle biopsy to remove a sample of cells and fluid. This test is the most sensitive for distinguishing between a benign or cancerous nodule. Treatment for benign nodules can be: 1.) Watchful waiting with regular thyroid function tests, physical exams, and biopsies if the nodule grows. 2.) Medication treatment with radioactive iodine or thyroid meds. 3.) Surgery if the nodule is causing difficulty with breathing or swallowing or if the biopsy results were diagnosed as suspicious. Treatment for cancerous nodules is usually surgical removal of the nodule along with the majority of the thyroid tissue. After this surgical procedure you will need lifelong treatment with levothyroxine to give you the normal amount of thyroid hormone needed by your body. Fortunately most thyroid cancers have very good prognosis with early diagnosis and treatment. (Mayoclinic2/22/11) For questions on other health issues, resources, or referrals call 635-9261 and ask for the parish nurse. Blessings! Flossie Vance, Parish Nurse PLTI-Families leading social change!. The Third FREE parent and those caring for children, leadership training class begins January 28th with a full day class, then classes are held Tuesdays evenings 5pm to 9 pm, dinner is served and child care is available. The class curriculum teaches enhancing civic skills, leadership skills, empowerment and advocacy skills for self and your children. The class is supported in part by the public health department. The contact person is Dawn Hamilton, 287-2027 for information & registration. Hope to see you there, Flossie Vance