January marks the beginning of Thyroid Awareness Month , which aims to spread awareness of thyroid conditions affecting over 20 million individuals living within the United States. Up to 60% of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition, while women are significantly more likely to experience thyroid issues than men. Although the underlying causes of thyroid disease are largely unknown, it is important to routinely evaluate the thyroid as undiagnosed thyroid disease can put patients at risk for severe health complications – including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and infertility.
Alongside conditions such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, the thyroid may also frequently develop nodules. Most don’t cause any symptoms and are benign in the majority of cases, however, a small percentage of thyroid nodules are cancerous. To improve early detection techniques, research efforts have begun investigating the potential benefit of employing artificial intelligence (AI) in classifying thyroid nodules.