Being told that a person has lumps or nodules in the thyroid can worry the patient. But there is no need to be concerned regarding thyroid nodules. Thyroid nodules are widespread, affecting more than half of the population above 60 years. Most thyroid nodules don’t have symptoms and are found incidentally. However, in other cases, the nodules can get big enough to cause problems.

The vast majority — more than 90% — of thyroid nodules are benign (noncancerous). However, if a concern arises about cancer, the doctor may recommend monitoring the nodule over time to see if it grows. Ultrasound is the test to evaluate and monitor the thyroid nodule and determine the need for a biopsy. If needed, a thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy is done, and samples of cells from the nodule are examined under a microscope, which can provide your doctor with more information about the behavior of the nodule.

If a thyroid nodule is causing voice or swallowing problems, your doctor may recommend treating it with surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. Even if a nodule turns out to be thyroid cancer, it is treatable. Surgery to remove the gland addresses the problem, and recurrences or spread of the cancer cells are uncommon.

There is no need to be worried about being diagnosed with a thyroid nodule. Instead, choosing an experienced specialist(endocrinologist)will help you get proper treatment.