thyroid nodules do not cause problems and are not
cancerous. They are often hard to notice because they are so small. Lots of
people have thyroid nodules that are never found or treated.
There are three kinds of thyroid nodules: solid nodules, nodules that are
filled with fluid (cystic nodules), and nodules that are partially cystic. You
can have one thyroid nodule or several thyroid nodules (multinodular
goiter). You can also have some nodules that are solid
and some that are cystic. Solid nodules may grow slowly over time. In rare
cases, cystic nodules bleed, which can cause them to grow suddenly and become
Thyroid nodules usually do not prevent the
thyroid gland from doing its job. But sometimes a noncancerous thyroid nodule
- Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism happens when one or
more nodules makes too much
thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism is treated with
antithyroid medicine, possibly radioactive iodine, and very rarely, surgery.
Hyperthyroidism from thyroid nodules is not very common. It occurs in fewer
than 1 out of 100 people who have thyroid nodules.2
For more information on treating hyperthyroidism, see the topic
- Difficulty breathing or
swallowing. Sometimes, one or more large nodules can press on your windpipe
(trachea) or on your
esophagus. These kinds of nodules have to be
Only about 5 out of 100 thyroid nodules are
cancerous.1Thyroid cancer is
usually diagnosed and treated early, so most people do very well. For more
information, see the topic
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