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How does a doctor examine a thyroid nodule?

Your physician may stand in front of you or behind you as he/she feels (palpates) your thyroid gland and the other tissues of the neck. He/she will be particularly focused on features that can be associated with thyroid cancer. These characteristics include size of the nodule (greater than 4 cm in size), rock hard texture, fixation of the nodule to surrounding structures, paralyzed vocal cord, or enlarged lymph nodes.

The doctor will review all of your records, will specifically look for prior imaging studies that have been done (neck ultrasound), and look at any biopsies that may have been performed (FNA biopsy). You should be sure to bring the reports of these studies to your office visit. In many cases, the physician will want to see the actual ultrasound (or other x-ray test) and may wish to have the actual biopsy slides reviewed by another pathologist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.