Thyroid disease describes any dysfunction of the butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck, known as the thyroid.

Professor Justus Apffelstaedt explains that parathyroids are four tiny glands located in the neck behind the thyroid gland.

Apffelstaedt specialises in thyroid, parathyroid and breast health.

He advises that the thyroid gland is key to regulating the body’s metabolism, while the parathyroids are important for calcium metabolism.

According to Prof Apffelstaedt, the thyroid is prone to developing lumps (or nodules).

About 70% of people by the age of 70 have one or more nodules behind the thyroid gland.

Professor Justus Apffelstaedt, thyroid specialist

He says that most thyroid nodules are benign, but some can be malignant (cancerous), requiring surgical or radiation treatment.