Thyroid cancer staging and detection

Because no two people develop thyroid cancer in the same way, we offer a wide array of resources for proper evaluation of your situation—and we use that information to create a personalized plan that fits your specific needs.

Tests and procedures to find and classify (stage) thyroid cancer

Once a cancer has been diagnosed, our specialists need to know where it may have spread. This is the “stage” of the cancer. The lower the number, the less it has spread. Knowing the stage allows your medical team to determine the best possible treatment plan for you.

Any combination of these tests and procedures may be used to find and classify (stage) thyroid cancers:

  • Biopsy. Removes cells or tissues for viewing under a microscope to check for signs of cancer
  • Blood test. Analyzes a sample of blood to help diagnose or treat a disease
  • CT scan (computed tomography). Uses a type of X-ray to create detailed, highly accurate, cross-sectional images of the body
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Uses a magnetic field instead of X-rays to provide detailed images of body structures
  • PET scan (positron emission tomography). Uses an injection of a short-lived radioactive substance to create detailed images of body structures that help identify cancer and areas of inflammation in different parts of the body
  • Sensitive serum thyroglobulin testing. Assesses the level of thyroglobulin, which is made only by thyroid cells and thyroid cancer cells
  • Ultrasound – Uses high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) to bounce off internal tissues or organs and make images of body tissues (sonogram)
  • X-ray. Uses a special type of energy beam to create images of the organs and bones inside body

As an alternative to withdrawing from thyroid hormone for some necessary tests, we offer Thyrogen®, a recombinant human thyroid stimulating hormone.

Thyroid cancer: learn more