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Doctor insights on: Can A Benign Thyroid Nodule Become Cancerous

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Might a benign thyroid nodule someday become a cancer?

Might a benign thyroid nodule someday become a cancer?

Not 100%: If the nodule is still in your neck, there is no way to know that it is 100% benign. Even if you had a biopsy before and it came back benign, there is still a chance that the spot of cancer was missed during the first biopsy. This is why we don't "poo poo" it away after 1 biopsy but continue to follow the thyroid nodule to monitor for size changes. All said, the risk of cancer is very small. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,223 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Can benign thyroid nodule turn cancerous?

Can benign thyroid nodule turn cancerous?

No: Thyroid nodules need to be fully evaluated, with ultrasound and bloodwork. Usually an endocrinologist is involved. A biopsy or fine needle aspiration is sometimes done. It is unlikely that a proven benign thyroid nodule will become cancerous. ...Read more

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Male with dominant homogenous solid thyroid nodule in midpoint that measures 1.1x1.3x1.7. Does this indicate a high cancer risk? Are most benign?

Male with dominant homogenous solid thyroid nodule in midpoint that measures 1.1x1.3x1.7. Does this indicate a high cancer risk?  Are most benign?

Most are benign: Hi. Yes, most nodules with those characteristics are benign. I'll assume you're not hyperthyroid (hyper-functioning nodules are NEVER cancer). Nevertheless, the chance of cancer is high enough (about 10-15% for nodules like that) that you MUST get it biopsied (non-surgical needle biopsy with gene testing is recommended). Don't ignore it, and don't ASSUME benignity. Cheers! ...Read more

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Is it true that the majority of thyroid nodules are hypoechoic and although thyroid cancer is usually hypoechoic, most hypoechoic nodules are benign?

Is it true that the majority of thyroid nodules are hypoechoic and although thyroid cancer is usually hypoechoic, most hypoechoic nodules are benign?

Size?: It is correct that in younger people thyroid nodules are benign, however, us is not very good at ruling out malignancy. Close follow up of the nodule is needed with us every 6 months. If the nodule is larger than 1 cm, fine needle aspiration biopsy needs to be considered. ...Read more

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Complex thyroid nodule biopsied said to be benign... Now regardless of the diagnosis... Could it be possible that nodule is cancerous and biopsy missed it?

Complex thyroid nodule biopsied said to be benign... Now regardless of the diagnosis... Could it be possible that nodule is cancerous and biopsy missed it?

Possibly: Thyroid nodules are notoriously difficult to interpret biopsy results, because the nodules themselves are often "complex" meaning non-uniform, and thus one portion may look benign while the other malignant, . ...Read more

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How is it a 20 yr old (so called benign) thyroid nodule have new calcification and may now be cancerous? Why not take it out years ago? Very upsettin

How is it a 20 yr old (so called benign) thyroid nodule have new calcification and may now be cancerous?  Why not take it out years ago? Very upsettin

Need bx: Thyroid nodules are not uncommon. The rule is that multiple nodules are considered related to goiters and are benign. A solitary nodule has the potential of being or becoming cancerous. If I find a solitary nodule that is cold I suggest removing it. It can be a benign adenoma, but if left can convert to a carcinoma over time. ...Read more

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3cm hypoechoic solid vascular thyroid nodule with a cluster of hurthle cells, fna benign, follow up ultrasound now shows microcalcifications. Cancer?

3cm hypoechoic solid vascular thyroid nodule with a cluster of hurthle cells, fna benign, follow up ultrasound now shows microcalcifications. Cancer?

Not necessarily...: The fact that FNA was reported as benign, the nodule is unlikely to be malignant. Small droplets of benign colloid often mimic "microcalcificatins" of papillary tumor, hence caution is advised. I would suggest repeating the FNA, and consider also collecting samples for gene profiling studies, such as, those manufactured by Veracyte and Asuragen (Note:I have no financial/other interest.) ...Read more

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Can medication shrink cancerous thyroid nodules?

Can medication shrink cancerous thyroid nodules?

Yes: Some medications can do that but surgery is typically recommended first to take them out. ...Read more

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Are all thyroid nodules cancerous? Can you share some sources?

Are all thyroid nodules cancerous? Can you share some sources?

No: Not all thyroid nodules are cancerous. Depending on the evaluation which includes lab testing and radiologic tests, thyroid nodules can be determined fairly accurately as to whether they are cancerous or not cancerous. However, it is possible that surgery might be required in order to fully assess the nature of a thyroid nodule. Please see your doctor for the proper evaluation. ...Read more

Nodule (Definition)

Any growth or deposit in the body or on its surface may be casually termed a nodule until its character is determined by the familiarity of the physician with it or by the results of a biopsy if it is not so obvious. The term is casual ...Read more


Dr. John Landi
13 doctors shared insights

Thyroid (Definition)

The thyroid is an endocrine gland that sits in the lower part of the neck. It produces thyroid hormone - which ...Read more