Diagnosing Thyroid Cancer with FNA Biopsy

Trained at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Rajiv Datta is a surgical oncologist and Head & Neck surgeon who has been affiliated with the South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York, since 2001. As the Director of hospital’s head and neck oncology division, Dr. Rajiv Datta’s practice involves treatment of thyroid cancer.

To determine the best treatment for thyroid cancer, an accurate diagnosis is needed. There are several assessments performed prior to making a diagnosis, including palpation of the neck and throat. Laboratory tests are also routinely performed. Of the several diagnostic tests available, one of the most common is fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNA).

FNA requires the removal of a small number of cells from the site of suspected malignancy. The sample is then sent to the laboratory for microscopic examination. While there are many ways to perform a biopsy, in FNA, a thin needle is used to acquire the sample. If the FNA results are inconclusive, then the attending physician may require further testing.

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