Thyroid Nodules (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your treatment will depend on how your thyroid nodule affects you. If your thyroid nodule is not cancerous (benign) and is not causing any problems, your doctor will watch the nodule closely before doing anything else. If your thyroid nodule is causing problems, you may need to take medicine or have surgery.
Antithyroid medicine and radioactive iodine can treat benign nodules that are causing your thyroid gland to make too many hormones (hyperthyroidism). For more information on hyperthyroidism, see the topic Hyperthyroidism.
Surgery is usually only necessary if your thyroid nodule is so large that it causes problems with breathing or swallowing or if your nodule is cancerous. After a cancerous nodule is surgically removed, you may need radioactive iodine to destroy any thyroid tissue or cancer cells that are still causing problems. If you need to have your entire thyroid gland removed, you will need to take thyroid hormone medicine for the rest of your life.
For information about thyroid cancer and its treatment, see the topic Thyroid Cancer.
When you know you have a thyroid nodule, your treatment options include:
If part or all of your thyroid gland needs to be surgically removed because of cancer, radioactive iodine may be used to destroy any thyroid tissue or cancer cells that remain after surgery.
If you have a thyroid nodule:
Treatment if the condition gets worse
If your thyroid nodule gets bigger, your doctor may recommend another fine-needle aspiration to see whether the nodule has become cancerous. If your nodule has become cancerous or appears to be cancerous, your doctor will probably recommend surgery (thyroidectomy) to remove some or all of your thyroid gland. You may also need radioactive iodine.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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