Healthy Moments Episode

Using Research to Improve Testing for Thyroid Cancer

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Oct 8, 2012 | Download Audio

Dr. Rodgers explains how research has led to advances in testing for thyroid cancer.


Detecting thyroid cancer is getting easier – thanks to research.

Hi, I'm Dr. Griffin Rodgers with NIH.

Many people have lumps in their neck due to enlargement of the thyroid gland. These lumps are called nodules and most are not cancerous.

Thirty years ago, to check a thyroid nodule for cancer, surgery was required. Today, thanks to research, in most cases a needle biopsy can be done right in the doctor's office to diagnose thyroid cancer. The doctor uses a thin needle and removes a tissue sample from the thyroid nodule. For some people, a needle biopsy doesn't give a clear diagnosis, and they will need surgery.

Here's the good news: through research, we're looking for new ways to improve testing for thyroid cancer – and make surgery even less likely.

Follow us on Twitter @healthymoments, and find links to thyroid disorders.

This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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