A diagnosis involving thyroid nodules is not given very easy. The patient must undertake a lot of analyses and examinations, because such a prognosis is pretty serious and can affect a lot its morale. A nodule can be found during a simple physical examination, but the person having it must also see a specialist before hearing a final and 100% sure diagnosis. In most of the cases, the patient must also have a regular ultrasound, for the doctor to see if a nodule is really present and to observe the status of the whole gland. The thyroid stimulating hormone must also be measured and the anti-thyroid antibodies are those that will help a medic decide if a thyroid disease is present. Many adults and children – about 50% have this type of nodules and in most of the cases, they are only detected through a regular examination. There are some tests that need to be done by those that seem to suffer real problems with the thyroid. The fine needle biopsy is one of them. This is done especially to see if the nodule that the patient has is malignant.
Apparently, this is the most accurate test. It is also cost-effective and very sensitive, thus offering the doctor exacts results related to the condition of his patient. Thanks to the fine needle biopsy and to the ultrasound-guided FNA the risk of malignancy can be determined. Of course, there are also some cases in which the nodule needs to be surgically removed in order to be carefully examined. Blood tests are usual when it comes about these nodules. These are taken, in most of the cases, before the biopsy. Through these tests, the thyroid stimulating hormone is measure.
This is done to see if a nodule that secretes it is cancerous. Thyroxine and triiodothyronine are also measured. Imaging is used to see the exact position of the possible thyroid nodules. Through it, the sizes and texture of the nodules can also be determined and it can be seen if they are filled with liquid. Nuclear medicine has a great part because it shows if a nodule is cancerous or not. Technetium and iodium imaging are used to perform an I scan of the patient. If the nodule seems to be hot, it is a good news, as such an image indicates it is not cancerous.