In most cases, a thyroid cancer diagnosis is made after a patient or physician notices a lump or swollen area at the front of the patient’s neck. However, these symptoms are not a conclusive indication of cancer. Upon evaluation, many thyroid nodules are found to be benign. Even so, when thyroid cancer is detected early and treated appropriately, the outcome can be very good. All of this underscores the importance of understanding and recognizing possible warning signs and promptly following up with a physician if any symptoms develop.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we take a multispecialty, evidence-driven approach to the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer. Moffitt’s Thyroid Clinic is one of the few cancer clinics in the country that offers an accelerated assessment of thyroid nodules; this means that all ultrasound imaging, biopsy procedures and evaluation are often completed in less than a week. As an added convenience to our patients, these services are available at both our Magnolia campus and Moffitt at International Plaza.
Moffitt’s comprehensive patient care incorporates a complete range of thyroid cancer diagnosis techniques, including:
- Physical examination of the neck, thyroid, throat and lymph nodes
- Ultrasound imaging
- Measurement of serum thyrotropin (TSH) to rule out hyperthyroidism
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy
- Blood testing
- Molecular markers for cancers that can’t be diagnosed through cytology
After a patient’s diagnostic tests are completed, the multispecialty team of experts at Moffitt’s Thyroid Clinic reviews and discusses the results. If a thyroid cancer diagnosis is confirmed, these test results will help our physicians identify the specific type of cancer and determine whether it has spread beyond the thyroid to other tissues or organs.
Our research team continues to perform extensive studies on new ways to diagnose and treat thyroid cancer, and our efforts have been recognized by the National Cancer Institute, which has designated Moffitt a Comprehensive Cancer Center – the only one based in Florida. Our cancer survival rates consistently outrank national averages, and our ultimate goal is to provide our patients with better outcomes and higher-quality lives.