Thyroid cancer is on the rise. Is this on the rise because of a specific issue or from consistent check-ups? That part is still under research. It’s important to be aware of thyroid cancer even if you don’t have any thyroid problems. In fact, there are individuals who happen to notice a bulge in their neck, and when they go to the doctor, they get blood tests done. After the blood tests, their doctor often confirms their thyroid is functioning normal. Whether you have a current thyroid issue, or even if you never had a problem, it’s crucial to keep an eye on it.
How to Know if you Have Thyroid Cancer
Technically, the only way to find out if you have thyroid cancer is through a FNA biopsy. However, some symptoms often are a red flag for a FNA biopsy to be conducted.
• Sudden onset of coughing
• Difficulty breathing or swallowing
• Feeling a bulge in the neck area
What is a FNA Biopsy?
An FNA biopsy is used to determine if there is cancer inside the thyroid gland. Usually an FNA is ultrasound guided. What that means is that there will be an ultrasound done with a needle for the biopsy. This is so the doctor will know exactly where to place the needle, and to be sure he or she is in the right place. The doctor who is performing the FNA will numb you with Lidocaine in the spot he or she is going to enter with the needle. He or she will then enter your thyroid with the needle used for FNA’s. The needle is a bit different. It is specifically made to enter the thyroid nodule and be able to collect cells. The doctor will move the needle around and go back and forth with it, collecting the cells. Once he or she knows they have enough cells, they will send the cells off to pathology.
When you get the Results
Most often, you will have to wait on average a week. It depends on how backed up the pathology department is. It’s beneficial to ask while you are there what they think the time frame will be. Once the complete pathology is done, it will be sent over to your primary care physician’s office. He or she will call you with the results. You can also call them to see if they have received the results.
With thyroid cancer being on the rise, you should always keep your follow-up appointments. There are different kinds of thyroid cancer: Papillary Carcinoma, Medullary, Follicular, and Anaplastic. Treatment is usually easier with papillary carcinoma. While the others may be easy as well, it depends on the individual and the extent of the cancer. Keep an eye on your neck with thyroid cancer on the rise.