This procedure involves the removal of a sample of tissue from the thyroid to check for the presence of abnormal, or cancerous, cells.
A biopsy of the thyroid involves the removal of a sample of tissue from the thyroid gland to check for the presence of abnormal, or cancerous, cells. A biopsy of your thyroid may be recommended if:
Depending on your specific circumstances, this type of biopsy may be done in the office or hospital.
Thyroid cancer can develop at any age, but it is most common in women between forty and fifty years of age and men between sixty and seventy years of age. The risk factors for cancer of the thyroid include:
There are no known ways to prevent thyroid cancer. Being aware of your risk factors can result in the cancer being diagnosed and treated sooner, which improves your prognosis.
Often thyroid cancers do not cause symptoms and are discovered during periodic health exam. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the above symptoms. He or she will review your symptoms and perform a physical examination. They may also recommend one of the following tests:
If your healthcare provider recommends a thyroid biopsy, prior to the surgery tell them about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before and after the surgery. These include:
If your biopsy indicates you do have thyroid cancer, or your cancer has spread, additional testing will most likely be needed.
You should contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of thyroid cancer. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you've had them.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a biopsy of my thyroid?
After your procedure, you should know what you had done, what medication was given and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.
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