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Thyroid Nodules (cont.)

Thyroid Nodules Diagnosis

A physician will perform an exam of the nodule using the hands.

  • Larger and more anteriorly (front) located nodules can be felt by the examiner.
  • A physician will ask about any other medical history and any risk factors for thyroid nodules or cancer, including family history of thyroid cancer or radiation exposure of the head or neck.

Thyroid Blood tests

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels and levels of thyroid hormone can indicate whether the thyroid is underproducing or overproducing thyroid hormones.
  • Anti-thyroid antibody levels can indicate the presence of autoimmune thyroid inflammation that can be seen with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (underactive thyroid disease called hypothyroidism) or Graves' disease (overactive thyroid disease called hyperthyroidsim).
  • Calcitonin levels in the blood can suggest a specific type of thyroid cancer, known as medullary carcinoma of the thyroid. However, calcitonin testing is generally not recommended as part of an initial evaluation of a thyroid nodule.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2015

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Thyroid Nodule »

Nodular disease of the thyroid gland is prevalent in the United States.

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