Which physical findings are characteristic of thyroid cancer?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Pramod K Sharma, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Solitary thyroid nodules can vary from soft to hard. Hard and fixed nodules are more suggestive of malignancy than supple mobile nodules are. Thyroid carcinoma is usually nontender to palpation. Firm cervical masses are highly suggestive of regional lymph node metastases. Vocal fold paralysis implies involvement of the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

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