Four days before the test results were due, Tipper Gore learned yesterday that the lump removed from her thyroid gland Tuesday was not cancerous.
Surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore removed the nodule after preliminary tests to see if it was cancerous had been inconclusive.
"She's thrilled with the news, and happy to get it as quickly as she did," said her spokeswoman, Camille Johnston.
Her surgeon, Robert Udelsman, of Johns Hopkins Hospital, said in a statement: "Tipper Gore's pathology results demonstrate a follicular adenoma of the thyroid gland. This is a benign process and, therefore, Mrs. Gore does not have thyroid cancer. It is unlikely that Mrs. Gore will require thyroid hormone replacement, as she has a normal left thyroid lobe."
Udelsman said she was resting comfortably at her Washington home. "We will follow her carefully to monitor her thyroid hormone levels," he said. No other follow-up treatment is expected, according to her aides.
Such growths occur in as many as one-third of adults, and more than 90 percent are benign. Tipper Gore and her husband, Vice President Gore, stayed overnight at Johns Hopkins after the two-hour surgery, and the two walked out arm-in-arm Wednesday afternoon.
Tipper Gore, 51, has been spending three or four days a week helping her husband's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, usually appearing separately so they can cover more places. She plans to take another week off and then resume her schedule, her staff said.
The growth was discovered several months ago during an examination for a chronic sports injury, according to her staff. Tipper Gore is an avid jogger and in-line skater and is in excellent health, her office said.
The Gores spent Christmas on their farm in Tennessee but returned early to Washington for the surgery and will remain here through the holiday weekend, aides said.