Jefferson University Hospitals

Thyroid Nodule

Any abnormal growth that forms a lump in the thyroid gland (located at the base of your neck) is known as a thyroid nodule. It can be felt as a small lump in the throat or sometimes be seen as a larger lump in the front of the neck, making it difficult to swallow. Fortunately, the vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign. For proper diagnosis and treatment of thyroid nodules, seek the expert otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat physicians) at Jefferson.

Our otolaryngologists will carefully evaluate the nodule and may perform the following:

  • A blood test to assess the function of your thyroid
  • Ultrasound to detect any other nodules and their sizes
  • A radionuclide scan
  • A fine-needle aspiration biopsy to determine what types of cells are present in the thyroid gland and nodules

Although the majority of thyroid nodules are benign (not cancerous), about 10 percent of nodules do contain cancer. Treatment options depend on the type of thyroid nodule that you have. Since distinguishing between benign and cancerous nodules can be difficult, surgery is often recommended.