Calcifications in the thyroid gland are more often related to noncancerous changes. However, when new calcifications appear in the thyroid, they should be investigated to see whether cancer is present.
The calcifications can sometimes be seen on plain x-rays, like a chest x-ray. Usually the calcium deposits are seen during an ultrasound exam of the thyroid.
There tends to be a different pattern of calcium deposits in noncancerous and cancerous conditions:
- Many tiny calcium spots within a growth tend to be seen with thyroid cancer.
- A rim of calcium around a growth tends to mean no cancer is present.
Depending upon your situation, your doctor may suggest a biopsy. This involves placing a very thin needle into the area of the thyroid that contains the calcifications. Cells are drawn into a syringe and the needle is removed. The cells are then squirted onto a slide to check for cancer.
Find out more about this book:Harvard Medical School Thyroid Disease: Understanding hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism