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What is the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland found over the front of your neck just below your thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple).

It produces thyroid hormones which controls your appetite, body heat production, moods and keeps the important organs in your body (e.g. brain, heart, muscles) working properly.

What is a Thyroid Nodule?
  1. An abnormal growth within the thyroid gland
  2. Most of these nodules (90-95%) are benign
  3. Most of the time, we do not know what causes these nodules to grow
  4. Less often, nodules may be associated with iodine deficiency or with other thyroid conditions (e.g. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)


Thyroid nodules are very common in the general population.

By the age of 60 years old, about 50% of the population will have thyroid nodules.

However, most are never discovered unless they are incidentally picked up during health screenings or unless they present with symptoms.


  1. Most thyroid nodules are small and do not cause symptoms
  2. Sometimes they present as a painless lump in the front of the neck
  3. Less commonly, they may be associated with breathing difficulties, swallowing difficulties and hoarseness
  4. Hoarseness may suggest that the nodule is malignant

Once a thyroid nodule is discovered, your doctor will carry out some tests to find out:

  1. If the thyroid gland is functioning normally
    1. Blood Test
  2. If there is only one nodule or multiple nodules present
    1. Ultrasound test
  3. If the nodule is benign or malignant
    1. Biopsy

Benign thyroid nodules are followed closely every 6-12 months. If they continue to grow or develop abnormalities, surgery may be required to remove them.

Know Your ENT Specialist
Dr Paul Mok
Senior Consultant ENT Surgeon
MBBS, FRCS (Glasgow), FAMS (ORL)

Dr Paul Mok Kan Hwei is a certified specialist in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (ENT) and has had a distinguished career in public service for the past 23 years.

He cares for patients with a wide variety of ENT conditions including managing patients with nasal allergies, sinus infections, ear problems and swellings in the head and neck region. His special areas of interests are in Voice, Swallowing and managing patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Dr Lau Hung Tuan
Consultant ENT Surgeon
MBBS (London), MRCS (Edinburgh), MMed (ORL), FAMS (ORL)

Dr Lau Hung Tuan is a Ministry of Health-accredited ENT specialist in Singapore. He is passionate about finding holistic, tailored and individualised care plans for his patients.

He treats patients with a wide range of ENT conditions, such as sinus infection, nasal allergy, ear problems and neck lumps. His special area of interest is in the sub-specialty field of Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).