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Thyroid Nodules - What Increases Your Risk

You are more likely to develop a thyroid nodule if:

  • You are older. Thyroid nodules are more common in older people.
  • You are female. Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid nodules.
  • You have been exposed to radiation. Exposure to environmental radiation or past radiation treatment to your head, neck, and chest (especially during childhood) increases your risk for thyroid nodules.
  • You do not get enough iodine. Iodine deficiency is rare in the United States, but it is common in areas where iodine is not added to salt, food, and water. An iodine deficiency may result in an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter camera.gif), with or without nodules.
  • You have Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Hashimoto's thyroiditis can cause an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
  • One or both of your parents have had thyroid nodules.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 14, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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