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The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland at the front of the neck which produces thyroid hormone that the body uses to regulate its metabolism amongst other functions. Thyroid cancer includes a variety of tumours with different biological behaviour, with the vast majority (over 90%), occurring as well differentiated cancers such as papillary or follicular thyroid cancer, both of which usually have a good prognosis with treatment.

Thyroid cancer is more common in females than males (at a ratio of 3:1), usually after the age of 30, however it can affect any age group. According to Cancer research UK (CRUK) there were 3500 new cases of thyroid cancer in the United Kingdom in 2015.

Diagnosis

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust offers a comprehensive diagnostic service including the full range of specialist endoscopic, radiological, and pathology services.  A combination of the following tests may be used to determine a diagnosis of thyroid cancer during, or following clinic visits:

  • Ultrasound scan and Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of thyroid nodules
  • MRI Scan
  • Chest X-ray
  • PET-CT Scan