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.