Thyroid Nodules

Also known as: thyroid overgrowth.

What are thyroid nodules?

The thyroid gland is a small organ in the neck that produces hormones that impact how your body uses energy. Sometimes, unusual growths occur on the thyroid gland, producing abnormal lumps that are known as thyroid nodules. Fortunately, these are usually benign.

Approximately 20 percent of thyroid nodules in children result in thyroid cancer.

What causes thyroid nodules?

In many cases, the cause of thyroid nodules is unknown. A thyroid cyst, thyroid inflammation, thyroid cancer or iodine deficiency are all possible causes.  

What are the symptoms of thyroid nodules?

Thyroid nodules usually do not cause symptoms. In rare cases, they may cause your body to produce more hormones and lead to weight loss, sweating, tremor, nervousness or irregular heartbeat.

How can thyroid nodules affect children?

Thyroid nodules are rare in children. When they do occur, they will need to follow-up with an endocrinologist and have periodic thyroid ultrasounds to evaluate stability. When thyroid nodules grow or show findings suspicious of cancer, a fine needle aspiration biopsy will be recommended.

What are thyroid nodule treatments?

Most thyroid nodules do not require surgery. If they do, surgery to remove the thyroid nodule or the thyroid lobe would be recommended.

Reviewed by: Alejandro Diaz, MD

This page was last updated on: July 25, 2022 03:21 PM

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