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Tipper's Thyroid Is Cancer Free

A lump removed from the thyroid of Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, was not cancerous, her doctor said Thursday.

Dr. Robert Udelsman of Johns Hopkins Hospital issued a statement saying that results show the lump, removed on Tuesday, was benign and it was unlikely that Mrs. Gore would require treatment with thyroid hormones.

Mrs. Gore underwent a procedure to remove a nodule from her thyroid gland in an operation that her office described as "precautionary measure." What might Mrs. Gore expect in the days ahead? CBS News Health Correspondent Dr. Emily Senay reports.

A thyroid nodule is an abnormal growth of cells on the thyroid gland, which is a small gland in your throat that helps regulates your body's metabolism.

In Mrs. Gore's case, the condition was detected during a routine physical exam. Doctors, during a typical medical exam, check the thyroid. (It's what they're doing when they put their hands on your neck and ask you to swallow.) They removed the nodule because it's the only way to know for sure if it contains cancer cells.

The chances of a cancer diagnosis were slim. About 90 percent of thyroid nodules are benign. Also, such growths are so common that if you performed ultrasounds, you'd find about 30 percent of the population has thyroid nodules.

Thyroid cancer is highly treatable. Most cases are treated through surgery, radioactive iodine, and sometimes radiation to the thyroid along with chemotherapy.