A thyroid tumor is a growth of excess cells that appears on the thyroid gland. A thyroid tumor can be cancerous or non-cancerous. The condition is normally diagnosed by your doctor using a physical examination, a blood test and a biopsy of the lumps that normally appear on the neck for a thyroid tumor.
A thyroid tumor has the potential to create a series of noticeable lumps. One of the areas where you may find a lump associated with a thyroid tumor is in the front of your throat, around the area of your Adam's apple. You may also notice swollen lymph nodes on the base of your neck. These may seem similar to the swollen nodes you get when you have the flu.
A thyroid tumor may make using your throat painful, or you may notice a pain in your neck that does not go away. You may find it difficult to swallow, and you may also feel pain when you try to breathe through your mouth. Your throat may start to feel raw and raspy, and your voice may become hoarse. If the condition is allowed to advance without treatment, it may become difficult to talk.
A cough is often a symptom for many different conditions, but it can also be a tell-tale sign of a thyroid tumor. You may develop a cough that initially seems harmless, but as the condition advances, the cough will become more prevalent and can become chronic. It could develop into a dry cough that can be very painful if the condition is left to develop without treatment.
Aside from the pain experienced in the neck because of a thyroid tumor, there may be another set of neck symptoms that involve a different sensation. Your neck muscles may become tight and your neck may start to feel very stiff. As the tumor grows, you may feel as though there is something blocking your throat that cannot be resolved.
A thyroid tumor and thyroid cancer are unique in their treatment because the primary initiative of treatment is usually surgery to remove the damaged part of the thyroid. Surgery to remove any part of the thyroid because of a thyroid tumor is called a thyroidectomy. In the case of a total thyroidectomy, in which the doctor must remove the entire thyroid to remove the tumor, you may be put on a regiment of radiation treatment to keep the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.