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A 32-year-old member asked:

thyroid cancer: what are the odds they have the diagnosis wrong?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
How was Dx made?: The statistical measure of an inaccurate test result is a false positive test. The incidence of false (+) following a fine-needle thyroid biopsy can be quite high depending on the findings. However, if this DX was established following thyroid surgery, the rate of false (+) is less-than 1%. If you need reinforcement, your doctor can request a second opinion from a different pathologist.
Dr. Farhad Sigari
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 20 years experience
Depends on the bx: If the diagnosis was made after thyroidectomy - the chances are not high that they got it wrong, unless the pathologist is not used to looking at thyroid specimens. I have had them mistake hashimotos' thyroiditis for follicular carcinoma. This is easily cleared up by sending the slides to an academic or outside consultation. Papillary carcinoma is usually pretty clear on microscopic exam.
Dr. Farhad Sigari
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 20 years experience
Provided original answer
By the way, the pathologists who dont look at a lot of thyroid specimens tend to refer them out for outside consultation without having to ask them. They dont want to give the wrong diagnosis any more than you want to get the wrong diagnosis. But if there is any concern, as a patient you can request for this. Talk to your surgeon - they will be a good advocate for you.
Mar 22, 2012
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Who diagnosed?: If a pathologist made the diagnosis, the odds of wrong diagnosis are very very low. Denial by the patient is far more likely than wrong diagnosis by a pathologist.

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Similar questions

A 41-year-old member asked:

How do I know if the thyroid cancer has spread?

7 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Internal Medicine 50 years experience
Nuclear scan: Radio nuclear iodine scan.
Dr. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen commented
General Surgery 34 years experience
If your entire thyroid was removed, there is a blood test, called the thyroglobulin level, that should be checked as well.
Nov 12, 2011
CA
A 38-year-old member asked:

What are the different types of thyroid cancer?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vasu Brown
Integrative Medicine 34 years experience
4 types: Papillary, follicular, medullary, anaplastic both papillary and follicular cancers are typically treated with complete removal of the lobe of the thyroid that harbors the cancer, in addition to the removal of most or all of the other side. Medullary cancer of the thyroid is significantly less common, but has a worse prognosis. Thyroid cancer anaplastic has a poor prognosis.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What kind of thyroid cancer do I have?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Specializes in Endocrinology
Depends: There are 4 types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular/hurthle cell, medullary and anaplastic. Papillary is most common (75% of all thyroid cancer) so if you have thyroid cancer, this's probably what you have. Anaplastic is very aggressive and is deadly, so you most likely do not have this one. The only way to know is through a thyroid biopsy or surgery.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Who usually gets thyroid cancer?

4 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Specializes in Endocrinology
Anyone: Anyone can get thyroid cancer. Your risk is higher if you have a family history of thyroid cancer or if you were exposed to excess radiation to the neck when you were younger.
A 21-year-old member asked:

How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?

5 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Davis Liu
Dr. Davis Liu answered
Family Medicine 24 years experience
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.

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Last updated Apr 12, 2017

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