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HealthInfo Canterbury

Thyroid nodules

Thyroid nodulesThyroid nodules are small lumps that develop in your thyroid. Lots of people have them.

Some nodules are picked up because you or your doctor feels them in your neck and others are picked up by accident when you have a scan to look at something else.

Doctors don't know why these lumps develop in your thyroid. However, most are harmless (they are benign), but occasionally they can be caused by thyroid cancer.

If you have thyroid nodules you might not have any symptoms. However, you might notice a lump in your neck or a croaky voice, difficulty swallowing or a cough. If you get these symptoms then you should see your doctor to get the lump checked.

If the nodule is making your thyroid overactive, you may have symptoms of hyperthyroidism. If the nodule is making your thyroid underactive, you may have the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

What tests will I have?

If you have a thyroid nodule you will need a blood test to check the hormones that your thyroid is making. Your thyroid nodule might cause your thyroid gland to be overactive (hyperthyroid) or underactive (hypothyroid), or it may not cause any difference in the level of hormones your thyroid makes.

Depending on what your blood test shows, you may have other tests, including

How are thyroid nodules treated?

Your treatment will depend on what is causing your thyroid nodule.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. August 2016.

Sources

See also:

Goitre

Understanding your thyroid function results

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