Advanced Diagnostics at Washington Township Medical Foundation
A thyroid nodule is a lump or a growth of some type on the thyroid gland.
In most cases, these growths are completely harmless, but a small percentage
turn out to be malignant, meaning cancerous. A fine needle aspiration
biopsy allows your doctor to take a same of cells from a thyroid nodule
using a tiny needle. The doctor can then send this sample to a laboratory
to find out if the nodule is cancerous or benign.
What to Expect During Your Appointment
The entire procedure typically takes under 20 minutes and can be conducted
in your doctor’s office. Some procedures involve the use of ultrasound
technology to guide the needle. The doctor will then send the sample of
cells that he / she collected to a pathologist for reading.
The pathologist looks at these cells under a strong microscope to determine
whether they are:
In most cases, the test will show that the cells are not cancerous. Your
thyroid gland is butterfly-shaped, with two lobes connected by a small
strip of tissue and located at the front of your neck, above the neckline
on either side. If your doctor notices any kind of abnormal growth during
an imaging examination, a biopsy will reveal whether or not there is cause
If you have questions about this procedure, ask your endocrinologist at
Washington Township Medical Foundation.