How do doctors diagnose thyroid nodules?

This often requires a thyroid ultrasound, a thyroid scan, and/or an ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration biopsy. This is a test during which the doctor uses a small needle to take a sample of tissue from the nodule and checks this under a microscope. Additional blood tests and imaging studies may also be necessary.

How do doctors treat thyroid nodules?

Treatment for thyroid nodules depends on whether the nodule is benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Many benign thyroid nodules will stay the same size and only need periodic check-ins with the care team. Larger nodules are often removed surgically, particularly in children. Malignant thyroid nodules always need treatment. This includes surgery, administration of radioactive iodine, and sometimes additional measures.

Rev. 5/2020. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treat any medical conditions.