A 21-year-old member asked:
how is thyroid cancer diagnosed?
5 doctor answers
Dr. Davis Liu answered
24 years experience Family Medicine
Examination: Suspicion for a thyroid cancer is often discovered by a physical examination, first discovered by a patient and then verified by a doctor. A biopsy is needed which can confirm the diagnosis.
Answered on May 15, 2013
It takes cells.: Thyroid cancer may be suspected on the basis of seeing or feeling a lump on the neck, or abnormal imaging results, but it takes cells on a microscope slide to prove it. Usually cells are obtaining by inserting a needle into a thyroid mass, and withdrawing a small amount of liquid, and cells, into the needle. This test is called an fna, or fine needle aspiration.
Answered on Jun 21, 2016
If FNA is unclear: Sometimes, the fna is inconclusive. In that case, it can repeated, or it may be necessary to have surgery to remove some or all of the thyroid to make the diagnosis of thyroid cancer, or to know for sure that there is no thyroid cancer.
Answered on Jan 25, 2020
Dr. Quang Nguyen answered
Specializes in Endocrinology
FNA or surgery: The best way to diagnose thyroid cancer is in surgery. The surgical specimen give you the most tissue to look at. It can also give you a "gross" view of whether the nodule had spread through the thyroid capsule (an indication of cancer). That being said, most patients don't jump to surgery right away. In that case, an ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration is often perform to eval cancer.
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
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