6 doctors weighed in:

Are cold thyroid nodules cancerous?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Lang
Internal Medicine - Endocrinology
4 doctors agree

In brief: Only occassionally

While almost all thyroid cancers are cold, so are most benign nodules.
If the nodule is hot, it is extremely rare for it to be cancer. If it is cold and looks suspicious on an ultrasound performed or at least interpreted by a very experienced clinician, it should be biopsied to see if surgery is necessary.

In brief: Only occassionally

While almost all thyroid cancers are cold, so are most benign nodules.
If the nodule is hot, it is extremely rare for it to be cancer. If it is cold and looks suspicious on an ultrasound performed or at least interpreted by a very experienced clinician, it should be biopsied to see if surgery is necessary.
Dr. Robert Lang
Dr. Robert Lang
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Dr. Eric Whitman
Surgery - Oncology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not necessarily

Cold thyroid nodules can be cancerous but are usually benign.
The next step is usually a biopsy, which is much mor helpful than a thyroid scan to distinguish thyroid cancer from benign nodules.

In brief: Not necessarily

Cold thyroid nodules can be cancerous but are usually benign.
The next step is usually a biopsy, which is much mor helpful than a thyroid scan to distinguish thyroid cancer from benign nodules.
Dr. Eric Whitman
Dr. Eric Whitman
Thank
Dr. Brendan Stack Jr.
Surgery - Head & Neck

In brief: Cold nodules

Only 15% of cold nodules are malignant (cancerous).
It is an old technology which is not specific. Nodules should be evaluated by ultrasound and needle biopsy. I rarely find it necessary to order this test. Khalid AN, Hollenbeak CS, Quraishi SA, Fan CY, Stack BC Jr. The cost-effectiveness of iodine 131 scintigraphy, ultrasonography, and fine-needle aspiration biopsy in the initial diagnosis of solitary thyroid nodules. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Mar;132(3):244-50. PubMed PMID: 16549743.

In brief: Cold nodules

Only 15% of cold nodules are malignant (cancerous).
It is an old technology which is not specific. Nodules should be evaluated by ultrasound and needle biopsy. I rarely find it necessary to order this test. Khalid AN, Hollenbeak CS, Quraishi SA, Fan CY, Stack BC Jr. The cost-effectiveness of iodine 131 scintigraphy, ultrasonography, and fine-needle aspiration biopsy in the initial diagnosis of solitary thyroid nodules. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Mar;132(3):244-50. PubMed PMID: 16549743.
Dr. Brendan Stack Jr.
Dr. Brendan Stack Jr.
Thank
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