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Thyroid Nodule

Thyroid Nodule

Question

If I have a thyroid nodule, does that mean I will get thyroid cancer? If I have the nodule removed, will it come back or will cancer develop?

Answer

Rachel Kelz, MD, MSCE, at Penn Medicine responds:

Ninety percent of thyroid nodules are benign. You should be seeing a specialist to get information regarding your specific nodule(s). People with a history of radiation exposure or a family of thyroid cancer are at increased risk. Some thyroid nodules may be at risk for the future development of thyroid cancer but that is still an area of active research. If the nodule is benign and completely removed, it should not come back. Surgery itself is NOT a risk factor for the development of cancer.

This question and answer was part of OncoLink's Brown Bag Web Chat Series. View the entire transcript of Focus on Thyroid Cancer.