January is Thyroid Awareness Month

Thyroid

The month of January is dedicated to raising awareness about the thyroid. During this month, healthcare providers and advocates across the nation encourage patients to take care of their thyroid glands to ensure it functions properly. There are a variety of tests that we offer at Maryville Imaging that help physicians diagnose thyroid problems in their patients.

A Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan utilizes x-rays and advanced computer technology to evaluate the size of the thyroid gland. A healthy, functioning thyroid gland is not typically visible externally. If your thyroid can be seen as a visible lump, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. You may be advised to receive a CT scan if he or she thinks you have an enlarged thyroid, a lump on your thyroid or thyroid nodules. We utilize a state of the art, low dose multi-slice CT scanner which creates much more detailed images for a more accurate diagnosis of your thyroid issue.

A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive, quick and accurate way to evaluate the shape and size of your thyroid gland. While a MRI cannot evaluate your thyroid’s functioning, it can detect if you have a goiter, an enlargement of the neck due to a swollen thyroid. As mentioned previously, a CT scan can also detect the size of your thyroid gland. However, in some instances, your doctor may prescribe a MRI rather than a CT scan due to the fact that a MRI does not require radiation. We offer a MRI with the largest opening on the market, the High-field Wide-bore MRI. Its wide opening offers a much more comfortable, relaxing experience for our patients.

An Ultrasound is a sound wave that creates a clear image of your thyroid gland. Your physician may advise that you receive an ultrasound if he or she thinks that your thyroid has a cyst or mass on it. An Ultrasound can determine whether the cyst or mass is fluid-filled or made of solid tissue; however, it cannot determine if it is cancerous our not. Like the MRI, an ultrasound does not utilize radiation, so it is completely harmless and quite easy to perform. In addition to detecting cysts and masses, an ultrasound can also monitor the success of treatments on the thyroid. If the ultrasound is reducing in size, then the treatment is working successfully.

At Maryville Imaging, we encourage our patients to take charge of their thyroid health not only in January, but all year long as well. To learn more about your thyroid gland and its important role to your health, please visit: http://www.thyroidawareness.com.