Also called: Benign cancer, Benign neoplasms, Noncancerous tumors

Tumors are abnormal growths in your body. They can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren’t cancer. Malignant ones are. Benign tumors grow only in one place. They cannot spread or invade other parts of your body. Even so, they can be dangerous if they press on vital organs, such as your brain.

Tumors are made up of extra cells. Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as your body needs them. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this process goes wrong. New cells form when your body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form tumor.

Treatment often involves surgery. Benign tumors usually don’t grow back.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in your body. These include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. All of these activities are your body’s metabolism.

Thyroid problems include

  • Goiter – enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Hyperthyroidism – when your thyroid gland makes more thyroid hormones than your body needs
  • Hypothyroidism – when your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid nodules – lumps in the thyroid gland
  • Thyroiditis – swelling of the thyroid

To diagnose thyroid diseases, doctors use a medical history, physical exam, and thyroid tests. They sometimes also use a biopsy. Treatment depends on the problem, but may include medicines, radioiodine therapy, or thyroid surgery.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health

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