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Noticed enlargement in one side of neck. Having biopsy. What can be the cause?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Last night I noticed an enlargement on one side of my neck (around 1 inch in diameter) and feel it has occurred rapidly as I apply neck cream morning and night and didn't notice it yesterday morning. I saw my family doc and have an ultrasound scheduled this monday and will be having a biopsy(tba). What would be a likely cause of this enlargement with rapid onset? (right side lobe)
Posted Sat, 10 Aug 2013 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 1 hour later
Do you know if the ultrasound report mentioned if there was a nodule on the thyroid?

If so, I would like to know the dimensions too.

Thyroid nodules are fairly common, especially in women and as we grow older. Fortunately about 95% of these are benign.

Do you have any family members with thyroid cancer?

Were you ever exposed to radiation to the upper body (like radiation treatment for acne/adenoids or radiation of a head/neck caner?

This link has more information on thyroid nodules :

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Follow-up: Noticed enlargement in one side of neck. Having biopsy. What can be the cause? 6 hours later
Hi there Dr. Topiwala,
I haven't yet had my ultrasound. It is in 4 days...just don't want it to get larger. The bottom part of the lobe is approximately 1 inch plus in diameter and it is swollen (winglike...upwards on a 45 degree angle and thinning out from there and about 3-4 inches long), so I think the entire right-sided lobe of the thyroid is swollen. I have a deceased maternal grandmother who had hypothyroidism but no history of cancer until my melanoma. I have read that persons with a past melanoma could be upwards of 20x the normal to have thyroid cancer. Is thyroid cancer ever fast-growing? Also, I have never had radiation for acne/adenoids other than a chest x-ray for pneumonia(not present) around 6 weeks ago.
My GP wants to arrange for a biopsy because the lump is greater than 1/2". Thanks.
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 10 hours later
To the best of my knowledge, there is no increased risk of thyroid cancer with past history of melanoma

It appears biopsy is the best way forward

There is an uncommon type of thyroid cancer called anaplastic carcinoma that can grow rapidly. But I do not want you to worry right now because a lot of benign conditions can cause sudden rapid enlargement of the thyroid such as bleeding into a benign nodule
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed enlargement in one side of neck. Having biopsy. What can be the cause? 2 hours later
Thank you very much for your answer.
Today, although not gone, it seems to have gotten smaller, by 1/4"in diameter.
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 3 days later
I am glad to have been of help to you.

Take care!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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