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A patient says that she has recently noticed a lump in the front of her neck below her “Adam’s apple” that seems to be getting bigger. During the assessment, what finding would lead the nurse to suspect that this may not be a cancerous thyroid nodule? Explain your answer.
a. It is tender.
b. It is mobile and soft.
c. It disappears when the patient smiles.
d. It is hard and fixed to the surrounding structures.
If the nodule is soft, smooth and mobile, there are good chances that the nodule is benign. If the nodule is firm, hard, irregular and fixed, the nodule may be malignant. Typically, the nodule will feel firmer than the rest of the thyroid gland. Although the chances are low that a thyroid lump is cancerous, early detection is important.