Thyroid cancer screening methods are currently being evaluated, but as of yet, there are no approved or recommended techniques that can be reliably used to screen for the condition. Nevertheless, many cases of thyroid cancer are caught in early stages, mainly due to patient awareness. The best way to protect yourself is learn about the common symptoms of thyroid cancer, pay close attention to your body and see a physician right away if you notice anything unusual, such as a lump or swelling toward the front of your neck.
Even though there are no tests specifically designed or endorsed for thyroid cancer screening, there are some tests that can be helpful, including:
Periodic physical and dental exams – Many health care practitioners perform cancer-related checks during routine examinations, including a visual and manual inspection of the neck and thyroid to look for possible lumps and growths.
Ultrasounds – Thyroid cancer is sometimes discovered in patients who undergo ultrasound testing for other reasons, such as narrowing of the carotid arteries or enlarged or overactive parathyroid glands.
Blood testing and thyroid ultrasounds – These tests can detect changes in the thyroid, but are generally recommended only for high-risk patients, such as those with a family history of thyroid cancer.
Genetic testing – Individuals who have a family history of medullary thyroid cancer are considered to have a high risk of developing this condition themselves. Therefore, some physicians recommend genetic testing to detect the presence of cellular changes related to medullary thyroid cancer.
If you’re concerned about thyroid cancer symptoms, you can turn with confidence to Moffitt Cancer Center, where all aspects of patient care are available in a single location. As a recognized leader in the development of scientific technology for detecting and treating cancer, we offer patients the latest diagnostic techniques, as well as a wide range of treatment options, from minimalistic active surveillance to targeted therapy of progressive metastatic disease, in addition to advanced clinical trials.
To learn more about thyroid cancer screening options, call 1-888-663-3488 or request to schedule an appointment online. You never need a referral to consult with the outstanding medical team at Moffitt.