Tests and procedures used to diagnose thyroid cancer include:
Apr. 14, 2014
- Physical exam. Your doctor will look for physical changes in your thyroid and ask about your risk factors, such as excessive exposure to radiation and a family history of thyroid tumors.
- Blood tests. Blood tests help determine if the thyroid gland is functioning normally.
- Removing a sample of thyroid tissue. During a fine-needle biopsy, your doctor inserts a long, thin needle through your skin and into the thyroid nodule. Ultrasound imaging is typically used to precisely guide the needle into the nodule.Your doctor uses the needle to remove samples of suspicious thyroid tissue. The sample is analyzed in the laboratory to look for cancer cells.
- Imaging tests. You may have one or more imaging tests to help your doctor determine whether your cancer has spread beyond the thyroid. Imaging tests may include computerized tomography (CT) scans, positron emission tomography (PET) or ultrasound.
- Genetic testing. Some people with medullary thyroid cancer may have genetic changes that can be associated with other endocrine cancers. Your family history may prompt your doctor to recommend genetic testing to look for genes that increase your risk of cancer.
- Melmed S, et al. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 18, 2013.
- Thyroid carcinoma. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Dec. 18, 2013.
- Revised American Thyroid Association management guidelines for patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. Falls Church, Va.: American Thyroid Association. http://thyroidguidelines.net/revised/taskforce. Accessed Dec. 18, 2013.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 18, 2013.
- What you need to know about thyroid cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/thyroid. Accessed Dec. 18, 2013.
- Guidelines for patients receiving radioiodine I-131 treatment. Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. http://interactive.snm.org/index.cfm?PageID=11031. Accessed Dec. 24, 2013.
- Hay ID, et al. The coming of age of ultrasound-guided percutaneous ethanol ablation of selected neck nodal metastases in well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2011;96:2717.
- Caprelsa (prescribing information). Wilmington, Del.: AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals; 2013. http://www.caprelsa.com. Accessed Dec. 24, 2013.
- Cometriq (prescribing information). South San Francisco, Calif.: Exelixis Inc.; 2012. http://www.cometriq.com. Accessed Dec. 24, 2013.
- Frequently asked questions about potassium iodide. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/potassium-iodide/ki-faq.html. Accessed Dec. 24, 2013.
- Brito JP, et al. Thyroid cancer: Zealous imaging has increased detection and treatment of low risk tumors. BMJ. 2013;347:f4706.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 24, 2013.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 5, 2014.
- Morris JC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 6, 2014.
- Nexavar (prescribing information). Whippany, N.J.: Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.; 2013. http://www.nexavar-us.com. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.