FNAB Results and What They Mean

FNAB results fall under four categories.

  • Benign: The most common result. The nodule has normal colloid component. These nodules are monitored over time through the use of ultrasound.
  • Indeterminate: This means the nodule cannot be classified as benign or malignant. The risk for cancer is increased and surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid is recommended.
  • Malignant: Papillary cancer can be diagnosed from FNAB.
  • Non-diagnostic: Inadequate tissue was presented in the sample for a diagnosis. This frequently calls for a repeat FNAB or sometimes surgery. This usually happens in a cystic nodule.

Second Opinion:

It is always a good idea to get a second opinion. Sometimes even a third or fourth is advisable. Although most doctors will agree with each other about diagnosis and treatment, there is always a chance that another doctor will have a different option that may be better for you.

How Long to Wait Before the Next FNAB:

Under some circumstances, a second biopsy will be required. The usual wait time is 3 months.

Veracyte and What It Really Means:

  • If the FNAB result fell under the Suspicious or Indeterminate category, there is a new test called Afirma by a company named Veracyte. This test is excellent at determining if a nodule is benign and can save patients from unneeded surgery. However, the test is not very effective at determining malignancy.
  • Sometimes autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and other conditions can mimic cancer. So, if the Afirma test turns out to be Suspicious, then surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland is planned. Surgery is the only way doctors can rule out or diagnose thyroid cancer.
  • After surgery, the final pathology reports that a high percentage of nodules turn out to be a benign.

With the final diagnosis made, the next thing to consider is taking care of the thyroid or the cause of the thyroid problem. What a person consumes affects the health of the thyroid. Read more to find out about thyroid problems diet.
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