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What is a thyroid nodule?

A thyroid nodule is a growth within the thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules are extremely common, and can be seen in 5 to 10% of women and 1 to 5% of men. Studies have shown that the chance of having a thyroid nodule increases with increasing age and that up to 60% of women over the age of 60 years may have a thyroid nodule.

Thyroid nodules are growths in the thyroid. Thyroid nodules are very common and occur in up to 15 to 30% of the US population. Like most thyroid diseases, they are more common among women than men. In addition, the chance of having a thyroid nodule increases with age and by the time a woman is 60, there is a 60% chance that she will have a thyroid nodule.

The most important questions to ask when a thyroid nodule is discovered are:

  1. is the patient hyperthyroid (i.e. do they have too much thyroid hormone in their body)? and
  2. is this a cancer?

Fortunately, most thyroid nodules are benign (i.e. not cancer) and non-functional (i.e. not causing hyperthyroidism). Only 5 to 10% of thyroid nodules will end up being cancer.

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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.