New Test Helps Diagnose Thyroid Cancer

JOPLIN, MO-- Medical experts now have a new tool to help in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer. It's a test that can help narrow the odds when other methods just don't work. A closer look at the gene expression classifier.

"Well, thyroid cancer is rare in general. In 2010, 45,000 cases were diagnosed in this country." According to Freeman Endocrinologist Shadi Hadrieh, there are generally no symptoms, which can make it tough to diagnose. But it often starts with a swelling at the base of the neck. "Most commonly thyroid cancer presents as a thyroid lump or nodule in the gland. And this is usually brought to the physician who can order a thyroid ultrasound. But more importantly they can examine the patient, examine the thyroid and see if there is any suspicious nodules."

Traditional tests will often confirm whether or not it's cancer. But when it's unclear, medical experts can use a new test known as the gene expression classifier to help determine the nature of the tumor. "It helps in sorting out the cases that were determined to be inconclusive on initial pathology testing. In cases where the pathologist feels like he's in a gray area where he's unable to determine if this is clearly cancer or benign."

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