You were diagnosed with a thyroid nodule. A nodule is just a cluster or a group of thyroid cells. Only between 5 and 15% of thyroid nodules are actual cancers. Patients that have been exposed to radiation in the past or have a family history of thyroid cancer have an increased risk of thyroid cancer.
You will be sent to the lab for blood work in order to determine how well your thyroid is functioning and if appropriate to check thyroid tumor (cancer) markers.
If these labs come back abnormal, you may be asked to have a nuclear medicine scan. This can is noninvasive. It allows the doctor to determine if your nodule is making too much thyroid hormone.
Depending on the size of your nodule or how old your thyroid ultrasound is, you may be sent for a repeat thyroid ultrasound.
If your thyroid ultrasound shows a nodule that is large or growing you may be sent for thyroid biopsy. There is no need to fast prior to your thyroid biopsy. The radiologist will numb your neck and will aspirate a tiny bit of thyroid tissue using a very small needle. The needle is the same needle that is used for a blood draw. Most patients experiencing mild pressure but not severe pain. You will be sent home the same day with a Band-Aid over the biopsy site and may takeTylenol as needed for pain. Some patients will choose to ice the area for about 20 minutes after the biopsy and this seems to alleviate pain.
If you have a biopsy you'll be asked to come to her office within two weeks in order to discuss your biopsy results.
If you do not need a biopsy, you will be asked to return to her office after bloodwork and ultrasound is completed in order to discuss these results. Most patients will need to have future thyroid ultrasound to monitor the size and growth of these nodules. This will be discussed with you in detail during your visit.
Please register for our patient portal. This is the easiest way for you to communicate with our office. You will be able to notify us of symptoms that are developing or the need to obtain a new lab slip, medication refills, or ask the provider questions.
I look forward to helping you take back your health,
Dr. Ana Silva