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How thyroid nodules are discovered

By May 29, 2020June 18th, 2020Thyroid disease

The book Thyroid Cancer & Thyroid Nodules In 30 Minutes contains easy-to-understand information about common disorders of the thyroid gland, the ways to make the diagnosis, and how to treat benign and malignant nodules (lumps) in the thyroid gland.

The book is written by an experienced thyroid surgeon who is also a Professor of Surgery at the Harvard Medical School. The basic concepts related to thyroid cancer and thyroid nodules are explained using a language adapted to patients and their families.

How thyroid nodules are discovered

  • The patient may see or feel a “lump on the neck”
  • The nodule may be discovered by the patient’s physician during a physical examination
  • The nodule may be discovered as an incidental finding when an imaging test (X-ray, ultrasound, CAT scan, or MRI) of the neck is performed for unrelated reasons

The workup of thyroid nodules

When there is suspicion of a thyroid nodule, the workup mainly consists of:

  • Thyroid ultrasound
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA): with a thin needle inserted into a thyroid nodule, cells are aspirated (sucked out) for microscopic evaluation
  • Cytology (microscopic evaluation of cells obtained during a FNA)

For more information on this topic, see Chapter 2: Case studies and Chapter 4: Benign thyroid nodules in Thyroid Cancer and Thyroid Nodules In 30 Minutes.