US-based Anguillian ENT warns against thyroid problems

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

On one of his regular visits from Florida to Anguilla, Dr Ellis Webster has warned the public to be mindful of thyroid issues. He made his remarks while speaking to the Mount Fortune Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

An ENT surgeon, Webster said, “We need to be able to diagnose these problems and then find out the causes and determine treatment options,” he said. “I think a lot of this has to do with diet and exposures and, certainly, as we become a more developed nation, and we are getting exposed to more things that the first world countries are exposed to, [we have to check ourselves]. We must be aware that these disease processes are on the rise and try to cut them off before they become endemic.”

When outlining the symptoms, he said that these include hair loss, depression, fatigue, dry scalp, palpitations, weight loss and sometimes weight gain among others and said that a lump in the neck would also need to be evaluated.

If there are high levels of thyroid we can treat that with medication or surgery. If there are nodules or lumps in the thyroid, we can do biopsies – or if we need to, we can remove the thyroid. If it is cancer, once it is removed there is a great chance that the person can be cured. Thyroid cancer tends to be slow-growing and…once you find them they are treatable. However, once you treat the thyroid cancer by removing the thyroid, we do adjunctive therapy such radio-active iodine treatments to kill any microscopic disease and those patients will do well. In terms of the medically high or levels treated with medication or surgery are well-managed as long as the patients are compliant with their medication”, he said.

Webster is a practising surgeon in the United States.

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