Thyroid Cancer-nodules, needle aspirate, benign?

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Newly Diagnosed Thyroid Cancer? Do you have Nodules? What are the Risks and Benefits or Treatment?

The NCI reports that the number of newly diagnosed thyroid cancer cases in 2014 was 61,980. Between 1992 and 2011 newly diagnosed thyroid cancer cases almost tripled. If you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer you can’t expect yourself to know the answers to the questions above.

Image result for photo of thyroid cancer

If you have nodules in your thyroid or if you have already been diagnosed with thyroid cancer the question you may ask yourself is about the risks and benefits of treatment? The studies linked below talk about potential risks now and in the future.

Questions for you and your doctor to discuss are below:

  • If you have a nodule in your thyroid how big is it? How many are there?
  • Can I observe these nodules?
  • What if the nodules recur?


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Long-term follow-up of benign thyroid nodules shows favorable prognosis

“After five years of follow-up, a majority of asymptomatic, benign thyroid nodules exhibited no significant change in size, or actually decreased in size, and diagnoses of thyroid cancer were rare, according to a study…

However, little is known about the actual frequency and magnitude of nodule growth, and there is no reliable method for identifying patients likely to experience growth…

The study involved 992 patients with 1 to 4 asymptomatic, sonographically or cytologically benign thyroid nodules

Nodule growth occurred in 153 patients (15.4 percent). One hundred seventy-four of the 1,567 original nodules (11.1 percent) increased in size. Nodule growth was associated with presence of multiple nodules. In 184 individuals (18.5 percent), nodules shrank. Thyroid cancer was diagnosed in 5 original nodules (0.3 percent), only 2 of which had grown. New nodules developed in 93 patients (9.3 percent), with detection of one cancer…

 “Thyroid nodules are pervasive, whereas thyroid cancer is not.”

The incidence of carcinoma in cytologically benign thyroid cysts.

“The management of cytologically benign thyroid cysts is controversial. Treatment options include observation, chemical sclerosis, and surgery. This study was undertaken to determine the incidence of carcinoma in cytologically benign thyroid cysts that recur after complete aspiration and to determine the indications for surgery in these patients…

The incidence of malignancy in cytologically benign thyroid cysts that recur after aspiration is high enough to warrant surgical excision, especially if the cyst is greater than 3 cm in size.”

Approach to cytologically-benign recurrent thyroid cysts.

“The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of carcinoma in cytologically-benign recurrent thyroid cysts and to evaluate the surgical indications in these patients…

Intraoperative biopsy revealed benign lesions in 91% and was inconclusive in the remainder; no cases of carcinoma were identified…In all these patients intraoperative biopsy showed benign disease

The risk of malignancy was higher in cysts larger than 3 cm…

Given the incidence of carcinoma, surgical resection should be considered in recurrent cystic thyroid nodules, especially in those larger than 3 cm, regardless cytological study.”




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