Q. Would you prefer thyroidectomy for cancer suspicion?

Answered by
Dr. Sadaf Mustafa
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 16, 2016 and last reviewed on: Mar 04, 2020

Hi doctor,

A year ago, I got a biopsy for two nodules in thyroid. The result for one was benign and the other inconclusive. This year I went back to a different doctor to redo my indeterminate biopsy. She advised me do for both again, because through ultrasound they look angry or vicious. In my right side, which was benign, is the largest at 2.6 mixed solid and cystic with vascularity and the other, that was indeterminate, is more of a solid or heterogeneous. This time my report came back as indeterminate for the benign one and the other as 40 % suspicious for cancer. This was done through afirma gene expression. I also have one more nodule on the lower portion that is too small to test. Doctor is pushing me for thyroidectomy. I am still young and active. I hate the thought of removing such a vital thing in my body and taking pills everyday just on chance. If I come to know it as cancer then I have no problem to take it out. Is there any more in depth test I can do before I change my whole life? What would you do? I am scared and I just feel stuck. Unfortunately, I do not have my reports. Any advice would be deeply appreciated. Thank you.



Welcome to

  • In this situation the most important fact would be to know whether there is a family history of thyroid cancer and which type.
  • Not all thyroid cancers are the same; some are more aggressive that the others.
  • Sorry, I was still trying to understand if the nodules are in one lobe of the thyroid or one in each lobe.
  • If you have both on one side and not bilateral then you may very well benefit from partial thyroidectomy and you will still have thyroid hormone in your system and may not require thyroid supplementation.
  • The alternate would be to follow up every six months and biopsy any suspicious lesions or change in size or shape of the lesions.
  • If I am in a given situation and have the medical knowledge that you have then I would prefer thyroidectomy. Since, one of the nodules has 40 % chance of turning malignant and I would not take that risk.

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