Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Thyroid Diseases

Thyroid Nodule and Cancer Risk

11/29/2006

Question:

My thyroid sonogram results were as follows:

Right lobe measures 5.2 x 1.4 x 1.8 cm and left lobe, 6.3 x 2.3 x 1.6 cm. There is a solid isoechoic nodule measuring 2.9 x 2.3 x 2.6 cm. There is no associated calcification and there is peripheral vascularity. Remainder of the left lobe, the entire right lobe and the isthmus exhibit uniform echogenicity. Adjacent to the left lobe there are two lymph nodes, the larger measuring 2.2 x 0.5 x 1.1 cm.

From the information provided, what is your opinion of the chances of malignancy?

Answer:

Although most nodules are benign, not all are.  For you individually, the mass is either malignant or it is not and the easiest way to determine this is with a fine needle aspiration.  This is a minor procedure done usually with a little local anesthetic.  A fine needle is inserted into the nodule (with ultrasound to guide it if the mass is not palpable) and cells withdrawn and looked at under a microscope. 

Some patients with a history of neck radiation, strong family history of thyroid cancers or certain abnormal blood tests may not want the needle biopsy as the risk of cancer is high enough to warrant surgery regardless. 

For more information:

Go to the Thyroid Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeffrey J Sussman, MD Jeffrey J Sussman, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery, Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati