Thyroid and parathyroid nodules, tumors, and cancer are a group of abnormalities that are a part of what is called endocrine disease, and therefore appropriate treatment requires a multidisciplinary team that includes endocrinologists, surgeons, perioperative and cancer care specialists. The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones that regulate metabolism. The parathyroid glands, which are adjacent to the thyroid, also produce hormones that are involved with controlling calcium levels. Thyroid disease is quite common, including the development of thyroid nodules, tumors, and cancers, because of the increased exposure to radiation in the environment. Many patients with thyroid nodules and tumors are found to not have invasive cancer after surgical removal.
The majority of patients with the most common types of thyroid cancer respond well to treatment, and some may even be candidates for non-surgical observation as well. With the advances in genetic testing, many patients with thyroid nodules and tumors can benefit from receiving additional information to help guide their treatment in a personalized manner, before proceeding with treatment such as surgery.