Thyroid nodules are extremely common; some studies using high-resolution ultrasound show that up to 70% of the population have thyroid nodules, with a generally higher prevalence in women and the elderly, said Mark Zafereo, MD, a head and neck surgeon at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Explore this issue:June 2016
To assist physicians who are recommending appropriate diagnosis and treatment options, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) released the third iteration of its thyroid nodule and thyroid cancer guidelines in late 2015. The “2015 American Thyroid Association Management Guidelines for Adult Patients with Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer” are now available from the journal Thyroid (2016;26:1-133).
The guidelines contain 101 separate recommendations for best practices that include diagnosing and managing patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer, interpreting biopsy results and molecular marker studies, initiating risk assessment and cancer screening, and initiating and monitoring various therapies. Recommendations are rated from strong to weak based on the quality of the evidence available for each.