Monday, June 27, 2022
HomeEditor PicksDo Benign Thyroid Nodules Turn Cancerous

Do Benign Thyroid Nodules Turn Cancerous

How Are They Treated

How do you determine if a thyroid nodule is benign or cancerous? – Susan J Mandel, MD, MPH

If your nodule is not cancer and is not causing problems, your doctor will watch your nodule closely for any changes. But if the nodule is large or causing problems with swallowing or breathing, youâll need surgery to remove the nodule.

If your thyroid nodule is causing hyperthyroidism, your doctor may recommend a dose of radioactive iodine, which usually comes in a liquid that you swallow. Or your doctor may have you take medicine to slow down the hormone production. In some cases, surgery may be done to remove an overactive thyroid nodule.

If your nodule is cancer , youâll need surgery to remove the nodule. You may also need treatment with radioactive iodine to destroy any leftover cancer cells. After surgery, you may need to take thyroid medicine for the rest of your life.

How Nodules Are Formed

Our body is the most sophisticated machine ever created, it makes no mistakes and would always do everything it can to keep a balanced ecosystem, which means optimum health.

All cells, like all living creations, require nutrients = food, and to eliminate waste = poop The Great Lymphatic Systems job is to eliminate waste from around the cells area and keep it clean so our cells can stay healthy.

Cellular waste is highly acidic and must be removed away from the cells in order not to damage them, and when the lymphatic system is clogged and unable to remove the waste, the body must come with a plan B, which is creating pockets of fluid, often called, cysts, nodules, boils, pimples, lumps, etc The body protects itself by isolating acid and chemistry that could hurt the cells and puts them into little pockets.

Nodules are coming interstitially,;right out of the tissue and are full of interstitial fluids = acid fluid from the cell , it is a protection mechanism of the thyroid gland to fight thyroid malignancy and inflammation.

Upper body nodules, such as the thyroid gland nodules, may also indicate an upper body stagnation, where the entire head can be involved. This normally happens when the kidneys and adrenals are down and not filtering.

What we put in our body directly affects the way our body reacts

What Is A Benign Thyroid Nodule

A benign thyroidnodule is a noncancerous mass that originates from within the thyroid gland just above the sternum. Most nodules form due to an atypical thyroid condition or chronic disease. Treatment for a benign thyroid nodule may range from close monitoring to the use of drug therapy or surgery. If a benign thyroid nodule remains undiagnosed, it may mature to impair throat function or contribute to the onset of thyroid disease. Rarely, a benign thyroid nodule may turn malignant; therefore, appropriate diagnosis and treatment are keys to a successful prognosis.

Thyroid nodules are generally inadvertently detected during routine testing. To discount the possibility of malignancy, several diagnostic tests may be performed on the nodule. Thyroid function tests are usually conducted to measure hormone levels and evaluate gland function. Fine-needle aspiration may also be utilized to obtain a sample of the nodule for laboratory analysis. Imaging tests, including ultrasound, may also be performed to evaluate the condition of the thyroid and assess the location, size and shape of the growth.

Recommended Reading: What Does High Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody Mean

Surgery For Thyroid Nodules & Cancers

Most noncancerous, or benign, thyroid nodules do not need treatment unless they are a cosmetic concern or cause symptoms including problems with swallowing, breathing, or speaking and neck discomfort. In these situations, NYU Langone doctors may recommend surgery or a minimally invasive procedure called radiofrequency ablation.

Doctors may also recommend surgery to manage a thyroid nodule if a biopsy shows its cancerous or if genetic testing shows its likely to be cancerous.;

People with toxic nodules or toxic multinodular goiters that are causing the thyroid to produce high levels of thyroxinea condition called hyperthyroidismmay also be recommended for surgery;

Your NYU Langone endocrinologist and endocrine surgeon determine the most effective and least invasive treatment or type of surgery based on diagnostic test results.;

Thyroid Nodule: Evaluation And Tests


The following are a list of tests that are required in the evaluation of a patient with a thyroid nodule.

  • Complete Medical History and Physical Examination
  • Ultrasound
  • T3 and T4
  • Thyroglobulin
  • Thyroglobulin Antibody
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Ultrasound guided Fine Needle Aspiration
  • Medical history and physical examination is required for all patients with a thyroid nodule

    If there is a suspicion that you may have a thyroid nodule, your health care professional will want to know your complete medical history. You will be asked questions about your possible risk factors, symptoms, and any other health problems or concerns. If someone in your family has had a diagnosis of thyroid cancer or other endocrine cancer, these are important factors.

    Your doctor will examine you to get more information about possible signs of thyroid cancer and other health problems. During the exam, the doctor will pay special attention to the size and firmness of your thyroid and any enlarged lymph nodes in your neck. Examination of your voice box is part of the physical examination obtained by the surgeon for any thyroid lump. A small lighted microscope is used to look at the voice box to determine how the vocal cords of the voice box are functioning. Even though a patient does not report change in their voice does not insure that the vocal cords are working normally. A vocal cord that is paralyzed greatly increases the concern that a thyroid nodule may be a cancer.

    You May Like: Can Thyroid Issues Cause Chest Pain

    Ways To Improve Thyroid Nodules

    Conventional treatment for thyroid nodules may include thyroid-damaging treatments, such as radioactive iodine or surgery. However, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your thyroid nodules;by addressing their root cause.

    If your thyroid nodule;is benign, there are two main treatment options;that may help:

  • Improve your gut health.
  • Optimize your iodine levels.
  • How Would You Know You Have A Thyroidnodule

    Common reasons you can be referred to the endocrinology department for evaluation ofthyroid nodules include:

    • The nodule was discovered duringan imaging test for an unrelated reason, such as a carotid doppler ultrasoundor a CT scan that includes your neck.
    • Your primary care doctor felt alump in your neck during a routine physical examination .
    • You have symptoms such as swellingin the neck or front of the throat, trouble swallowing, or a hoarse voice.;

    A thyroid ultrasound is the best way toevaluate these nodules. We use an ultrasound machine to see if any nodules are present,their size, and whether there are signs that the nodule might be cancerous.

    We do not usually worry about nodules that aresmaller than 1 cm in size or if we see a thyroid cyst , asthey are usually benign. Other nodules either should be followed on ultrasoundor evaluated further with a biopsy, depending on what they look like.

    Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Thyroid Cysts Naturally

    What Causes A Thyroid Nodule To Form

    Sometimes the thyroid begins to grow , causing one or more nodules to form. Why this happens is not known. Cancer is the biggest concern when nodules form. Fortunately, cancer is very rare it is found in less than 5 percent of all nodules. Nodules develop more often in people who have a family history of nodules, and in people who dont get enough iodine. Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormone.

    There are different types of thyroid nodules:

    • Colloid nodules: These are one or more overgrowths of normal thyroid tissue. These growths are benign . They may grow large, but they do not spread beyond the thyroid gland.
    • Thyroid cysts: These are growths that are filled with fluid or partly solid and partly filled with fluid.
    • Inflammatory nodules: These nodules develop as a result of chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland. These growths may or may not cause pain.
    • Multinodular goiter: Sometimes an enlarged thyroid is made up of many nodules .
    • Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules: These nodules autonomously produce thyroid hormone without regard for normal feedback control mechanisms, which may lead to the development of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can affect the heart and cause such problems as sudden cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, arrhythmias , osteoporosis and other health problems.
    • Thyroid cancer: Less than 5 percent of thyroid nodules are cancerous.

    Thyroid Molecular Markers Allow Patients To Avoid Surgery

    Thyroid Nodules, Cancers & Treatment

    We want to help patients find that perfect balance between under-treatment and over-treatment. The people-gram shows how molecular testing can help patients avoid unnecessary surgery.

    Left Path: Before the use of molecular markers, everyone with an indeterminate biopsy went to surgery. Of those who went to surgery, cancer was found in only 25% of those cases . 75% of the surgical patients turned out not to have needed surgery at all because their nodules were benign .

    Right Path: Today, if you have an indeterminate biopsy, you also undergo molecular testing.50% of patients were categorized as benign from the molecular test and safely avoided surgery. Of the surgical patients who received a suspicious molecular test result , cancer was found in 50% of those patients .

    It is very rare that patients end up having cancer because of a false negative test. Still, it is UCLAs standard of care to have a safety net and follow every patient after molecular testing, regardless of their result. Those patients will get ultrasounds every 12 months to ensure that nodules do not grow or change in appearance.

    Don’t Miss: What To Eat After Thyroid Surgery

    Is Hyperthyroidism During Pregnancy A Problem

    Thyroid hormone levels that are just a little high are usually not a problem in pregnancy. However, more severe hyperthyroidism that isnt treated can affect both the mother and the baby. If you have hyperthyroidism, be sure your disease is under control before becoming pregnant. Learn more about causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hyperthyroidism during pregnancy.

    Also Check: Is Orange Juice Good For Thyroid

    Types Of Thyroid Nodules

    There are different types of thyroid nodules that arenât cancerous:

    • Toxic nodules make too much thyroid hormone. This can lead to hyperthyroidism, which makes the metabolism speed up.

    • Multinodular goiters have several nodules. They may also make too much thyroid hormone and may press on other structures.

    • Thyroid cysts are full of fluid, sometimes with other debris. They may happen after an injury.

    You May Like: Why Does Your Hair Fall Out With Thyroid Problems

    Symptoms Of Thyroid Issues

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ near your throat. Its responsible for making hormones that regulate your metabolism, energy levels, and it also tied to sex hormones. In women, this means estrogen, progesterone, and smaller amounts of testosterone.

    Problems can arise if your thyroid isnt producing enough hormones. Here are some of the most common symptoms of low thyroid function:

    • Fatigue

    Donât Miss: How To Speed Up Thyroid Metabolism

    What Kind Of Follow

    Thyroid Nodules: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment ...

    You will see your childs endocrinologist and head and neck surgeon one week after surgery. Expect to have labs done to assess calcium levels. Thyroid function labs will be drawn four weeks after surgery. Depending on the pathology, additional imaging may be obtained to see if radioactive iodine is needed. Some types of thyroid cancer will require regular blood work screening and scheduled ultrasounds.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/30/2018.


    Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Thyroid Swelling

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Related To Thyroid Nodules

    Most thyroid nodules do not cause any symptoms.; Some thyroid nodules show up as a painless lump in the neck that you can feel or see. Thyroid nodules usually move up and down with swallowing.;

    When thyroid nodules become large they may cause symptoms by pressing on the airway or esophagus. These are also called compressive symptoms. Compressive symptoms include:

    • discomfort with swallowing

    At the UCLA Endocrine Center in Los Angeles, multiple layers of evaluation are designed to help you avoid invasive tests and surgery whenever possible. Consultation, ultrasound, and FNA can all be performed in a single;visit.

    Initial evaluation of a newly discovered thyroid nodule begins with:

    • Assessment by an endocrinologist or endocrine surgeon
    • Thyroid function tests
    • Neck ultrasound performed by your doctor

    An ultrasound is a highly accurate tool to visualize your nodule. There is no associated radiation with ultrasounds and it is non-invasive. Ultrasounds are cost-effective as most patients really don’t need any other imaging because the ultrasounds are the best way to look at the thyroid, all present nodules, and the lymph nodes in the neck.

    Our cytopathologists evaluate over 1000 samples per year, so we are confident in the accuracy of our biopsies. When biopsy does not give a clear answer, we automatically use molecular profiling to refine the diagnosis.

    What To Know About Birth Control Pills And Hashimotos

    If you take birth control pills and have Hashimotos hypothyroidism, its important to understand how oral contraceptives can affect your hormone balancing, your liver, your thyroid, and your brain. This functional medicine viewpoint can help you make an informed decision about contraception, or give you insight into buffering potential consequences.

    Birth control pills flood the body with an unnatural amount of hormones that are also synthetic. This can imbalance the body in a number of ways.

    Your bodys hormone balance depends on finely nuanced communication between the brain and the hormone glands. The brain determines how much hormone the glands should produce based on hormone activity in the body.

    When you introduce hormones into the body, this tells the brain the body has plenty of hormone. As a result, the feedback loop of communication between the brain and the hormone glands slows down or becomes dormant, lowering the bodys natural production. This may create symptoms or problems when the time comes to go off the pill.

    Don’t Miss: How To Stop Thyroid Hair Fall

    Baseline Examinations Of All Subsets

    The mean volume, standard deviation, and minimum and maximum values of all nodules in subsets A, B, and C were 2.5mL, 4.2mL, 0.1mL, and 27.1mL, respectively. Differences in the thyroid nodule volume among the reference values in subset A and in the initial measurements in subsets B and C were not noted : 0.2318 0.842, P=0.53, ANOVA).

    Thyroid Nodule Symptoms: Uncommon But Can Happen

    How do you determine if a thyroid nodule is benign or cancerous? – Susan J Mandel, MD, MPH

    Thyroid nodule patients usually have no symptoms, but when they do have symptoms they are most commonly:

    • A lump in the neck
    • Uncomfortable pressure sensation on the breathing tube
    • A sense of feeling like they need to swallow something or difficulty swallowing
    • Discomfort in the neck

    Thyroid nodules may also rarely produce the thyroid hormone, thyroxine, in excess. This is uncommon but the reason why all patients with thyroid nodules should have a blood test for thyroid stimulating hormone . Thyroid nodules that produce extra thyroid hormone can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism which include:

    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Nervousness
    • Rapid or irregular heart rate

    Don’t Miss: How To Lose Weight With Underactive Thyroid And Menopause

    Optimize Iodine Levels To Improve Thyroid Nodules

    Thyroid hormone is made up in large part by iodine, which has led some clinicians to recommend iodine supplementation to support thyroid health. However, we need to get just the right amount of iodine. The American Thyroid Association;states, Iodine deficiency, which is very uncommon in the United States,;isknown to cause thyroid nodules.;However, too much dietary iodine can increase the risk of goiter, multinodular goiter, nodules, and thyroid autoimmunity, especially in Hashimotos thyroiditis. [20

    What Happens In A 5

    Roberto Negro

    1Division of Endocrinology, V. Fazzi Hospital, Piazza F. Muratore, 73100 Lecce, Italy


    To determine an optimal time for follow-up of benign thyroid nodules, we retrospectively evaluated 249 euthyroid patients with uni-multinodular goiter, who underwent annual visit, and significant events that occurred in 5 years time were registered. A significant event occurred in 26.1% of patients, with more than one event occurring in the same patient in 27.7% of cases. The majority of events were observed at 24- and 36-month follow-up visit. These results suggest that a patient diagnosed with benign nodular goiter may be safely followed-up at a 2-3-year interval time.

    1. Introduction

    Given the high prevalence of thyroid nodules and the number of patients with cytologically benign nodules with a normal thyroid function that periodically should be checked by ultrasound and thyroid function tests, it is easy to understand the global impact on the health care system deriving from such disease.

    The aim of this study is to ascertain an optimal time interval of consultations, in order to guarantee an effective monitoring, but avoid an excessive and useless execution of consultations, function test, and ultrasound, for a benign disease that is also often asymptomatic.

    2. Methods

    Thyroid cytology categories followed the British Thyroid Association system .

    3. Results

    Characteristics of study population are described in Table 1.


    4. Discussion

    5. Conclusions

    Recommended Reading: Is Thrush A Sign Of Underactive Thyroid

    Most Common Birth Control Drugs

    Numerous options are available to provide a method of birth control to both men and women. Amongst women, birth control pills often referred to as oral contraceptives, is one of the most common methods used to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant following sexual intercourse.

    Birth control pills utilize a preparation of hormones to help prevent pregnancy. These pills can either contain progestin or a combination of both progestin and estrogen hormones. The idea is to prevent the brain from releasing follicle stimulating hormones, also known as FSH, and luteinizing hormone, or LH both hormones being produced by the pituitary gland situated at the back of the brain.

    These hormones are essential for preparing the eggs for fertilization by reducing the release of these hormones, the chance of becoming pregnant becomes significantly lower.

    There are three different main types of birth control and oral contraceptive drugs that a woman can opt for when she wishes to utilize these drugs to help prevent pregnancy during sexual intercourse. These three different types include:

    • Monophasic oral contraceptives


    Popular Articles