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Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis

History and Physician Exam

When thyroid cancer is suspected, a detailed history is necessary to determine whether the patient has risk factors. Some symptoms may also point towards this diagnosis. Next, a physical exam will be performed to evaluate the thyroid gland and neck.

Thyroid ultrasound

If there is a concerning mass in the thyroid, an ultrasound is often performed to characterize the nodule. Based on this examination, a decision will be made as to whether the nodule requires a biopsy. If the nodule does not require a biopsy, the nodule is often monitored to assess for changes to its size and characteristics.

Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (USFNA)

An USFNA is the current gold-standard to determine whether a thyroid nodule is malignant. USFNA may performed by different specialists such as ENTs, endocrinologists and radiologists.

Molecular Testing

Testing for gene mutations and gene fusions in your thyroid nodule may be proposed by your physician. This test can provide valuable information regarding the malignant potential of the thyroid nodule as well as the aggressiveness of the malignancy. In some cases, the cost of this test may be covered by Quebec’s public health insurance plan. This can be further discussed with your ENT Specialty Group physician at your appointment.