Let's talk a little bit about thyroid nodules. Many people have thyroid nodules and don't even know that they have them. Usually nodules are found when imaging is done for another reason. 90% of nodules are benign (not cancer).
When to Have a Thyroid Nodules Biopsy
However, when a thyroid nodule is a centimeter or larger we like to biopsy them. After the nodule has been biopsied, we either can tell if it's benign (not cancer), malignant (which is cancer) or unfortunately sometimes it falls into a murky middle ground between the two. If it falls in that murky middle ground, sometimes we have to repeat the biopsy and sometimes we just take out that side of the thyroid in an operation.
How are Thyroid Nodules Treated?
People who are symptomatic from their nodules, such as having trouble swallowing or talking and having voice changes, should probably have that thyroid nodule removed in the operating room. If the nodule turns out to be benign, we manage these by following them with ultrasounds every year. If you have malignant nodules, we then offer surgical intervention in addition to other oncological treatment.
If you have any questions or think that you have an endocrine disorder that may require surgical management contact your primary care provider for referral.