What is a Thyroid Neoplasm?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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Thyroid neoplasm refers to a new growth present on the thyroid gland. These growths or tumors can either be benign or malignant. Typically, malignant thyroid tumors are known as thyroid cancer. Generally, a malignant tumor of the thyroid is seen less frequently than those of a benign nature. Malignant thyroid neoplasm frequently has a favorable prognosis, however, quick recognition and medical intervention is important. The incidence of thyroid cancer is higher in women, and in those in their 30s and 40s.

Typically, certain risk factors may be important in the development of a malignant thyroid neoplasm. These generally include radiation exposure. This is especially evident in a type of neoplasm called papillary thyroid cancer. People who were exposed to radiation from bombs and fallout from nuclear power plants have been shown to have a higher incidence of malignant thyroid neoplasm, however, the low-dose radiation that is received from medical imaging examinations has not been implicated in having tumorigenic effects.


Generally, a thyroid neoplasm presents as a palpable, painless, solitary nodule, located in the thyroid gland. Frequently, the physician, or the patient discovers the nodule during neck palpation. It is important to note that palpable nodules of the thyroid gland are present in about four to seven percent of the population and usually, these signify benign disease. The age of the patient at diagnosis is also important because solitary thyroid nodules are more likely to be cancerous in those patients over 60 years old and in those under 30 years old.

The physical examination of the patient who presents with thyroid nodules should include a comprehensive examination of the head and neck, with careful concentration given to the cervical soft tissues and thyroid gland. Generally, fixed, hard nodules are often more indicative of malignant thyroid neoplasm than are mobile, supple nodules. In addition, a thyroid cancer is typically not tender and painless upon palpation. Laboratory evaluation and biopsy are also important diagnostic factors in diagnosing thyroid cancer.

A malignant thyroid neoplasm typically requires surgical intervention. The removal of the thyroid gland frequently cures the problem, however, the surrounding tissue may require biopsy to determine if the tumor has metastasized or spread to other areas. In addition, thyroid replacement hormone medication may be needed to replace the hormones that the removed thyroid gland produced. Follow up medical exams are also important and may involve the expertise of an endocrinologist, a doctor specializing in the thyroid gland.


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Post 2

Since my mom had a nodule on her thyroid, my doctor always checks me, too. I do have low thyroid, which my doctor says is probably Hashimoto's thyroiditis, since my mom has that, too.

I have to wonder if my diabetes wasn't a root cause of this, since I was on a couple of medications for a while that are known to cause thyroid issues. It's an interesting question for me. I wouldn't sue anyone or anything, but I would like to know if that medication, as well as my genetics, predisposed me to get this condition. It does make me wonder.

Post 1

In 2011, I was diagnosed with a thyroid neoplasm, or nodule, whatever you want to call it. My doctor actually felt it when she was examining me. I was pretty apprehensive, but I had an ultrasound, and the results were not conclusive, so I had to have a fine needle aspiration biopsy. Oh man, was that ever fun! Yes, I was numbed, but it was still very, very, uncomfortable.

The biopsy didn't show anything either, but I still had to have the nodule and the right lobe of my thyroid removed. Thank the Lord, the nodule was benign. The recovery wasn't too bad, except for the soreness and my scratchy throat. That wasn't fun. It was probably a month before I could sing, which is a problem, since I am the songleader at my church.

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