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Quick GuideHyperthyroidism Pictures Slideshow: Keep Your Thyroid in Check
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. However, even among "cold" nodules, cancer is infrequent (less than 5 percent of cases).
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 are medically necessary.
Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine
National Institutes of Health