Thyroid Scan (cont.)

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What is significant about whether a nodule is "hot" or "cold?"

Functioning or "hot" nodules only rarely are from cancer. Nearly all thyroid cancers are nonfunctioning or "cold" nodules. Moreover, even among "cold" nodules, cancer is infrequent (less than 5 percent of cases).

Summary

While the thought of taking something "radioactive" is not very appealing, it is important to remember that iodine concentrates only in thyroid tissue, making this test safe and also quite specific for thyroid disorders.

A thyroid scan can provide information on both the structure as well as the function of the thyroid gland. This information can help you and your physician determine if further investigations, procedures, or medications may be worthwhile.

Medically reviewed by John A. Seibel, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Endocrinology & Metabolism

REFERENCE:

"Thyroid Scan"
National Institutes of Health


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/6/2014

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Endocrinology - Diagnosis Question: Please describe your experience taking the thyroid scan test.

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