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Thyroid Disorders Message Board
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
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thyroid diagnostics

My friend is a 41 y/o white male who recently found a lump on his neck.
His Dr. thinks its a thyroid mass, isn't terribly worried but of course is sending him out for more tests. The thing is, I haven't heard anything said about biopsy or aspiration, just imaging (CT or MRI). Isn't biopsy or aspiration more definitive than the imaging? What kind of study can you do with images that you can't better do with actual cells? Plus, isn't imaging more expensive? Especially if you have to go back & do biopsy or removal anyway? He has insurance but the lab deductible is $1700. Is there a chance I'm misunderstanding the situation & the call for imaging is actually to assist FNA?

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:42 AM   #2
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Re: thyroid diagnostics

Imaging can determine if the nodule is a cyst (fluid filled) or more suspicious (solid). I think an ultrasound can do the same.

The only definitive result you can get from a biopsy is positive. A negative result can just mean they didn't hit the right spot with the needle-i.e. there could be cancer cells just next to where the needle struck.

Typically though, a needle biopsy is the first line of attack and if that is negative then a scan is ordered. It might be that the imaging is to aide the needle (hubby had this done).

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: thyroid diagnostics

Imaging can determine if the nodule is a cyst (fluid filled) or more suspicious (solid). I think an ultrasound can do the same.

The only definitive result you can get from a biopsy is positive. A negative result can just mean they didn't hit the right spot with the needle-i.e. there could be cancer cells just next to where the needle struck.

Typically though, a needle biopsy is the first line of attack and if that is negative then a scan is ordered. It might be that the imaging is to aide the needle (hubby had this done).

 
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