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Thyroid & Parathyroid

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that produces hormones involved in regulating the body's metabolism. Occasionally the thyroid will develop a physical abnormality, such as a goiter, a tumor or nodules.

The term goiter refers to the swelling of the thyroid gland. Most often occurring due to an iodine deficiency, goiters can become extremely large and are frequently visible as lumps on the neck.

Thyroid nodules are small lumps that form on the thyroid. Unlike goiters, they are not visible to the naked eye. Most often, they are not cancerous. Thyroid tumors, however, can indicate thyroid cancer and should be promptly tested for malignancy. Thyroid tumors are often visible as lumps on the neck, similar to goiters.

Parathyroid tumors are tumors of the parathyroid — four tiny glands located near the thyroid. These glands secrete a hormone that controls the amount of calcium in the blood and bones. Parathyroid tumors may interfere with this hormone, and therefore may cause problems with calcium metabolism.

Temple physicians are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating thyroid and parathyroid abnormalities.

Thyroid and Parathyroid Patient Story: Deborah

Thyroid and Parathyroid Treatment at Temple

For patients with physical abnormalities on the thyroid or parathyroid glands, Temple physicians offer precise surgical removal of goiters, nodules and tumors.

Because thyroid tumors can indicate cancer, Temple's head and neck surgeons perform fine-needle aspiration biopsies on every tumor. If a tumor is malignant, the surgeons collaborate with Fox Chase and Temple oncologists to develop an effective surgical treatment plan.