Depending on the reference about 7% of incidentally noted thyroid nodules are found to be from thyroid cancer. The increase in imaging procedures (MRI, CT scans, neck ultrasounds) are finding many “incidental” thyroid nodules that we might not have otherwise detected on the physical exam. The vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign, however, the risk for cancer is real. With the increased detection of thyroid nodules, it is especially important to better identify the true cancer risk of these nodules. This can help us to avoid unnecessary surgery for nodules that are likely benign but cannot be clearly designated as such on the basic pathology report, as well as help to identify nodules that are especially high risk that may warrant a different surgical approach. Here at Texas, Diabetes and Endocrinology, we can offer this genetic analysis of your thyroid cells with samples obtained during the standard thyroid biopsy. We continue to always look forward in your treatment as the science and research of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer becomes ever more focused on genetic analysis.
The American Thyroid Association released their new Guidelines for managing thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. The long-awaited guidelines incorporate new findings from a wide range of studies into 101 recommendations. Main areas that have seen major updates include role of molecular markers in diagnosis, imaging frequency for follow-up, indications for I-131 treatment, risk assessment / prognosis, and treatment of advanced disease. The guidelines are here: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/thy.2015.0020