The thyroid gland, located at the base of the throat, produces hormones to help control body temperature and energy level.
Thyroid diseases are primarily conditions that affect the amount of hormone produced by the thyroid. These diseases do not usually require surgery.
Thyroid nodules, which are lumps of tissue in the thyroid gland, also are common.
- An enlarged nodular thyroid gland is called a goiter.
- By age 60, about half of people with no other history of thyroid disease have nodules in their thyroids.
- About 90 percent of these thyroid nodules are benign (non-cancerous) and are harmless.
- Most benign thyroid nodules do not require surgery and are treated with routine medical care with an endocrinologist.
The best way to know if you have a thyroid nodule is to make sure your doctor does a neck exam at least once a year.