Most thyroid nodules do not cause symptoms. The cause of thyroid nodules is not known.
Although the vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign (noncancerous), a small proportion of thyroid nodules do contain thyroid cancer, so it’s important to have any lumps or nodules evaluated by a doctor adept at performing thyroid ultrasounds.
At the Thyroid Institute of Utah, our doctors use the latest in knowledge, skill, and technology in performing neck ultrasounds and sharing the results with you in real time. An ultrasound test is painless and very accurate in determining the size of a nodule and its characteristics, which may suggest if cancer is present. Once the initial evaluation is completed, thyroid ultrasound can be used to keep an eye on thyroid nodules to determine if they are growing or shrinking over time.
If a thyroid nodule appears suspicious, a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy may be recommended. Having a needle poked into your neck and thyroid might sound disturbing, but the needle used to take cell specimens from the thyroid is very thin and a local anesthetic may not even be necessary. Our doctors use a real-time ultrasound image to accurately guide a needle directly into a nodule. The cell specimens are sent to a lab to be evaluated by a pathologist for cancer.Learn more about Thyroid Nodules