When my thyroid was removed, there were two nodules (abnormal bodies) in it. The one on the right side was very large -- large enough that the doctor had to take longer and cut more than he'd originally planned -- and the one on the left side was fairly small. Both nodules were sent to pathology for analysis. (robot_grrl didn't end up doing any of the main work since she took a couple of days off). After the initial analysis, some of the tissue was sent to the pathologist who, literally, wrote the book on Thyroid Pathology, to confirm what the pathologist at Tri-City had seen.
The results as I got them (supplemented a bit by some minor details that Tara had and I hadn't) is that on the left (SMALL) nodule, they found some Papillary carcinoma. While this is cancer, this is not really all that bad news.
First, my doctor assured me, right away, that he expects no change in my life expectancy. Second, when I did some searching on the Internet, I learned that the 10-year survival rate for this kind of cancer is at least 90%, and much higher in most cases. Finally, the same research showed that the first course of treatment is usually to remove all or part of the thyroid. Since that was done before detection, I'm at least spared further surgery.
I have an appointment with an endocrinologist the week after next, and he'll -- possibly in consultation with my general care doctor and the ENT -- will determine the course of treatment and any further diagnostics that will need to be performed.
Thank you in advance for continued prayers and good thoughts.