Accuracy of FNA

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Question

Is a fine needle aspiration (FNA) sufficient to diagnose thyroid cancer or do should I have a biopsy of the nodule?

Answer

Kolin Hoff, MD, Endocrinologist at Penn Medicine responds,

In most cases FNA can diagnose malignancy or at least a suspicious nodule. In some cases only surgery can definitively diagnose a cancer. A biopsy that is read benign is correct about 97% of the time but may vary by institution.

This question and answer was part of OncoLink's Brown Bag Web Chat Series. View the entire transcript of Focus on Thyroid Cancer.


News
Treating papillary cancer confined to gland within year of diagnosis does not appear to improve survival rate

May 18, 2010 - Patients who are definitively treated within a year of diagnosis for papillary thyroid cancer that is limited to the thyroid gland have survival rates that are comparable to those who do not receive definitive treatment, according to a study reported in the May issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.



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