Thyroid nodules are lumps that commonly arise within an otherwise normal thyroid gland. Most commonly, these abnormal growths of thyroid tissue do not produce any symptoms whatsoever. Thyroid nodules are usually found during a routine examination of the neck by a health care provider, or from X-ray studies obtained for other reasons.
When thyroid nodules do produce symptoms it is either due to their larger size or their location within the gland. Thyroid nodules which are located at the edge of the thyroid gland can sometimes be felt as a lump in the throat or even seen as a lump in the neck when they occur in very thin individuals.
Although most thyroid nodules are noncancerous (benign) and don't cause problems, ask your doctor to evaluate any unusual swelling in your neck, especially if you have trouble breathing or swallowing. It's important to evaluate the possibility of cancer.