What are thyroid nodules?
A thyroid nodule is a lump that forms on your thyroid, a butterfly-wing-shaped gland at the base of your throat. Nodules can be solid or filled with fluid. Most of them grow slowly, never causing symptoms or needing treatment. Nor do they affect the normal functioning of your thyroid gland. You may have nodules without even knowing it.
How common are thyroid nodules?
Thyroid nodules are very common. About half of all Americans will have one or more by the age of 60. They are three times more common in women than men. You may need surgery to remove larger or cancerous nodules, or take medication for nodules that produce too much thyroid hormone.
Can thyroid nodules become cancerous?
Rarely, only about 5% of the more than three million thyroid nodules diagnosed every year become cancerous. The only reason to be concerned about nodules is if they grow large enough to interfere with swallowing or breathing, or become cancerous.