Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis
Our physicians at Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute are committed to giving you an accurate and quick diagnosis. An exact diagnosis is important because it helps our skilled staff determine the course of action that will have you back to feeling your best.
Expert thyroid cancer diagnosis at AHN
At the Cancer Institute, we have one of the busiest, most accomplished thyroid centers in the Pennsylvania area. People travel from out of state to meet our practitioners because of our skill and experience.
We put our patients first, providing care that is:
- Collaborative: Highly trained experts, including endocrinologists (physicians who treat hormone disorders) and oncologists, work together to provide a precise diagnosis. We also determine the stage of the cancer, which refers to how severe the thyroid cancer is and if it has spread (metastasized).
- Expert: Because of the many patients we care for, our physicians are highly skilled at providing a specific diagnosis. We can rule out other, similar conditions and provide answers for even difficult-to-diagnose conditions.
- Advanced: We use the latest research and studies to inform our care, so you benefit from the most up-to-date treatments available. We also offer robust support services to treat the whole person.
Diagnostic procedures for thyroid cancer
To begin diagnosis, we discuss your symptoms with you and perform a physical exam to feel for any lumps or nodules on the neck. We may recommend other tests to confirm a diagnosis:
- Ultrasound: This device uses sound waves to make an image of your thyroid.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: This special X-ray creates a detailed picture of your thyroid and neck.
- Biopsy or fine needle aspiration (FNA): We insert a small needle into the thyroid nodule to get a sample of cells. A specially trained doctor, called a pathologist, looks at the cells under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous. We give you a local anesthetic before performing this minimally invasive procedure.
Thyroid cancer treatment
Once you have an accurate diagnosis, you are ready to begin treatment. You meet with your entire cancer care team shortly after diagnosis.
Treatment often involves surgery to remove either part of the thyroid gland or the entire gland, depending on your diagnosis. After surgery, we may use radioactive iodine treatment. In some cases, we may use chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy. Find out more about our approach to treating thyroid cancer.