Approximately 1 in 10 people with a thyroid cancer diagnosis have follicular thyroid cancer. More often than not, follicular thyroid cancer is diagnosed by chance, during an exam or evaluation for another purpose. This is because most follicular thyroid cancer patients don’t experience symptoms during the condition’s early stages. Sometimes, a patient may experience symptoms that lead to diagnostic testing – a lump in the neck being the most common. More serious symptoms such as vocal changes or difficulty swallowing may occur, but these would typically be indicative of later-stage cancer and call for immediate attention. Occasionally patients present when follicular thyroid cancer spread to other parts of the body.
How is a follicular thyroid cancer diagnosis made?
There are several types of tests that may be used for diagnosing thyroid cancer prior to establishing its specific type. In addition to physical examination, some of these tests include:
- Ultrasound imaging
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy
Surgical removal of the cancerous tumor
When any of the above-mentioned tests suggest that cancer is present, surgery typically follows. In order to make an accurate diagnosis of follicular thyroid cancer, the thyroid mass must be removed. That’s because follicular thyroid cancer is considered a “well-differentiated” cancer, which means that its cells look similar to normal, healthy cells.
Follicular thyroid cancer diagnosis at Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt’s Thyroid Clinic that provides a rapid response assessment of thyroid nodules, with all diagnostic testing conducted on the same day and results available within a week. With the streamlined evaluation process at our clinic, Moffitt patients are diagnosed faster, allowing for earlier treatment and a higher quality of life.
To learn more about the diagnosis of follicular thyroid cancer or your next steps after receiving a diagnosis, contact us at 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online. A referral is not needed to consult with oncologists specializing in thyroid cancer at Moffitt.