An estimated 15 million Americans have undiagnosed thyroid problems. You can perform a simple neck check self-exam to help with early detection and check for lumps or enlargements in the neck that may point to a thyroid condition. Here is a step-by-step guide.
All you will need is:
- Handheld mirror
- Glass of water
How to Take the Thyroid Neck Check
- Hold the mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbones, and below the voice box (larynx). Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck.
- While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.
- Take a drink of water and swallow.
- As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow.
- Reminder: Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located further down on your neck, closer to the collarbone. You may want to repeat this process several times.
- If you do see any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician. You may have an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule and should be checked to determine whether cancer is present or if treatment for thyroid disease is needed.