If you have any symptoms of thyroid cancer, make an appointment with our specialists. We provide expert, accurate diagnosis. Learn more about symptoms of thyroid cancer.
We begin with a thorough physical examination. We will feel your thyroid and check for lumps in your neck. Other diagnostic procedures may include:
Blood test: Together with the thyroid scan, this helps us determine if a lump in the thyroid is making too many hormones. Learn more about blood tests.
Thyroid scan: A type of nuclear scan. Learn more about a thyroid scan.
Ultrasound: Uses high-frequency sound waves to create images. Learn more about ultrasound.
Biopsy: We take a small amount of tissue from the thyroid to examine under a microscope. Learn more about biopsy.
Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis: Genetic Tests
We can now perform more advanced genetic tests of biopsy samples. These tests help us with the diagnosis when it is difficult to confirm using visual inspection alone. Learn more about cancer genetic testing.
For certain types of cancer, specifically medullary thyroid carcinoma, there are tests that can determine who has a genetic defect long before any cancer appears. The tests are confidential and can help us provide better care for our patients. If you have this type of cancer:
Get tested: You and your family members (including children, grandchildren, parents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews) should see a doctor about tests that will show if the abnormal gene is present.
Preventive surgery: Family members, including young children, who don't have cancer, but do have this abnormal gene, may reduce the chance of developing medullary thyroid cancer by having surgery to safely remove the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy).
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.