Growth on Tipper Gore's thyroid not cancerous
December 30, 1999
Web posted at: 1:04 p.m. EST (1804 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A growth removed Tuesday from the thyroid gland of Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, is not cancerous, medical and White House sources said Thursday.
Sources at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore revealed late Thursday morning that the lump removed from Mrs. Gore's thyroid gland in a brief surgical procedure is not cancerous. Mrs. Gore had minor surgery at the medical center Tuesday to remove the lump.
Her attending doctor, endocrinologist Robert Udelsman, was scheduled to hold a press conference later Thursday to discuss the results of a biopsy on the nodule. All indications were that the lump is benign, meaning Gore will likely not suffer any long-term ill effects of the growth.
Mrs. Gore was admitted to Johns Hopkins on Tuesday. The surgical procedure was performed later that night, and she and the vice president departed the hospital Wednesday afternoon with no comment.
The vice president spent Tuesday night in the hospital with his wife.
The surgery was recommended as a "precautionary measure" after the nodule was discovered during an examination for a chronic neck injury that she has checked from time to time, according to Camille Johnston, Mrs. Gore's spokeswoman.
Johnston said Tuesday there are no symptoms of a thyroid condition and her thyroid hormone levels are "perfectly normal."
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the
neck just below the Adam's apple. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism and influence the specific functions of organs throughout the body.
Thyroid nodules can be cancerous, though the majority of such growths turn out to be benign.
According to Johns Hopkins' Web site, thyroid nodules are lumps that commonly arise within the gland. At least one in 15 women and one in 60 men in the United States have a thyroid nodule. These nodules are usually clumps of thyroid cells that are growing abnormally within the gland. Thyroid nodules may also be cysts, fluid-filled cavities, or swellings caused by thyroid inflammation.