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What are treatment options for thyroid cysts and nodules?

A:

Quick Answer

Treatment options for thyroid cysts and nodules include thyroid hormone suppression therapy, radioactive iodine and surgery, according to Cleveland Clinic. If the thyroid cysts or nodules are benign, treatment may not be necessary, but the doctor typically monitors the condition of the patient for any changes.

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Full Answer

Thyroid hormone suppression therapy involves a drug called levothyroxine. In theory, levothyroxine acts on the pituitary gland to decrease the production of a certain hormone that creates thyroid tissue growth, which in turn assists with nodule shrinkage. However, it is still not certain as to whether this treatment is actually effective for its intended purpose of shrinking thyroid nodules, says Cleveland Clinic.

Radioactive iodine in a capsule or liquid form is a common treatment for hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules and multinodular goiters, according to Mayo Clinic. The thyroid gland absorbs the radioactive iodine, which causes the nodules to decrease in size. This treatment is not suitable for pregnant women or women who are trying to conceive, cautions Cleveland Clinic.

The surgery option is a consideration for nodules that are indeterminate or suspicious, or benign nodules if they are large enough to cause discomfort. It is also the most likely option for cancerous nodules, states Mayo Clinic. Removal of malignant nodules often entails the removal of significant amounts of thyroid tissue.

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