Thyroid Nodules

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped organ that is located at the base of the neck. It is responsible for secreting Thyroid Hormones which are responsible for regulating your bodies metabolic rate.

What are thyroid nodules?

Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths within the thyroid itself. Nodules are very common in women with up to 50% of women having nodules by the age of 50. Around 95% of nodules are benign/non cancerous. The may be caused by hormonal changes, family history, as well as certain dietary factors.

How do you know if my nodule is benign or cancerous?

There are a number of risk factors for thyroid cancer. These include radiation exposure at childhood, being of child bearing age, certain countries have a higher risk of thyroid cancer such as in China where there is a rising incidence, as well as family history for thyroid cancer.

The most important test to know whether a nodule is benign or not is via a Fine Needle Aspiration. In this test, a small needle is inserted into the nodule and cells are taken out and sent to a lab for analysis. The procedure can be done in the office and usually takes under 10 minutes. A result will usually come back in under 1 to 2 weeks.

At Pacific Executive Health, we can arrange for a rapid Assessment with our experienced thyroid surgeon. We may be able to perform a biopsy for you on the same day. Contact us if you have any questions.