Foundation Discusses Thyroid Growths in Pregnancy

Patient guide covers basics on diagnosis and treatment of cancerous and suspicious nodules

FRIDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In order to provide information and reassurance to pregnant women with thyroid nodules and cancer, The Hormone Foundation -- the public education affiliate of the Endocrine Society -- has created a patient guide covering the subject, published in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and the November issue of Endocrine News.

Edited by Leslie J. De Groot, of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues, the guide tells readers that most thyroid nodules -- at least 90 percent -- are benign. Diagnosis is largely based on fine-needle aspiration biopsy, which is 95 percent accurate for identifying cancerous or suspicious growths.

Surgical removal of glands containing suspicious or cancerous nodules can typically be postponed until after childbirth, though the procedure should be done within a year of diagnosis. If needed during the pregnancy, the surgery is typically performed during the second trimester.

"The clinical guidelines were developed after an extensive review of the best clinical studies about thyroid dysfunction in pregnant and postpartum women, and the effects of treatment on the mother and baby. An international expert panel of The Endocrine Society examined evidence from studies that had been published in 'peer-reviewed' medical journals," the authors write. "The panel's 'recommendations' and 'suggestions' were reviewed and approved by several committees and, finally, by the general membership of The Endocrine Society."

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