The Pathology of the Thyroid Gland

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The Pathology of the Thyroid Gland Introduction The thyroid gland is the largest gland located in the neck. It is positioned in the anterior or front of the neck below the skin and muscle layers. The thyroid gland has the shape of a butterfly with the two wings being characterized by the left and right thyroid lobes which wrap around the trachea. The only role of the thyroid is to make thyroid hormone. This hormone has an effect on almost all tissues of the body where it augments cellular activity. The role of the thyroid, thus, is to regulate the body's metabolism (Norman, 2012). The thyroid gland is prone to more than a few very distinct problems, some of which are very common. "These problems can be broken down into those concerning the production of hormone (too much, or too little), those due to increased growth of the thyroid, causing compression of important neck structures or simply appearing as a mass in the neck, the formation of nodules or lumps within the thyroid which are worrisome for the presence of thyroid cancer, and those which are cancerous" (Norman, 2012). Common Diseases Goiters From time to time the thyroid gland grows larger than it is normally supposed to be. This is a condition known as a goiter. Even though goiters are typically trouble-free, a large goiter can cause a cough and make it hard for one to swallow or breathe. The most frequent cause of goiter globally is a lack of iodine in the diet. In the United States, where most people
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