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Woman with goitre, a swelling of the neck caused by the enlargement of the thyroid gland: This may be due to a lack of dietary iodine, which is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones; the gland enlarges in an attempt to increase hormone production. Iodine deficiency was the cause of endemic goitre, formerly common in regions where the diet lacked iodine. Other instances of goitre (sporadic goitre) may due to overgrowth of the gland or to the presence of a tumour.
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