Symptoms and Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer

Last Modified: August 14, 2012

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What are symptoms of thyroid cancer? How can thyroid cancer best be diagnosed?


Rachel Kelz, MD, MSCE, at Penn Medicine responds:

Thyroid cancer is often asymptomatic. When symptoms occur, they can range from a visible mass to voice dysfunction. Thyroid cancer is rarely associated with symptoms that are typical of thyroid dysfunction. That means that weight gain, fatigue, hair loss etc are not characteristically associated with thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is best diagnosed by ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration (a biopsy.) There is no blood test to detect well differentiated thyroid cancer.

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

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