A thyroid nodule may develop in any part of the thyroid gland, advises MedicineNet. Some are easily detectable, while others form deeper in the gland. Most nodules are not cancerous.
A thyroid nodule is an abnormal growth in the thyroid gland, explains MedicineNet. Doctors locate nodules with physical examination, ultrasound, computerized tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging. Doctors biopsy the nodules to determine if they are cancerous. About 10 percent of nodules are malignant.
Most nodules are asymptomatic, according to MedicineNet. However, some nodules cause pain, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath and hoarseness. Nodules that produce thyroid hormone may cause hyperthyroidism.