What are goiters? Are they like cancer? I am 31 and have a bump on my neck.
A goiter is a medical term to describe a diffusely enlarged thyroid gland. most bumps found on the neck are not goiters. A goiter only occurs where the thyroid gland normally is (which is just below your Adam's apple). Goiters are caused by over-stimulation of the thyroid gland. This can occur in states of iodine deficiency (rare in the US) and in cases of Graves disease (a type of hyperthyroidism). Thyroid cancer typically causes a nodule in the thyroid gland. These types of nodules are usually small and tough to notice unless you are trained to look for them.
The most common cause of bumps found in the neck region are enlarged lymph nodes. Enlarged lymph nodes can be caused by infections such as a sore throat, cold, or mononucleosis. In more rare cases, an enlarged lymph node can represent cancer.
I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can examine this bump on your neck and determine what its most likely origin. If your doctor thinks that it may be your thyroid gland, then you will need to have thyroid function tests done (these are simple blood tests). If your doctor thinks that the bump is a lymph node, then its significance must be placed in the context of any other symptoms you are having.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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