Carolina Endocrine is now offering the Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis by Veracyte®, an advanced test not yet available nationwide.
One of the most frustrating challenges facing endocrinologists and thyroid patients is when an FNA on a suspicious nodule is found to be “inconclusive” or “indeterminate.” In this case, the pathology assessment cannot rule out cancer, and the recommended follow-up is thyroidectomy — a surgery to remove the thyroid. The thyroid gland is then thoroughly evaluated by a pathologist to conclusively diagnose or rule out thyroid cancer.
When thyroid cancer is found, the thyroidectomy is considered a necessary and appropriate step in treatment. But when no thyroid cancer is discovered, the patient has needlessly lost a vital organ, and in the process, become hypothyroid for life. The health impact of an unnecessary thyroidectomy can be life-changing — those patients become hypothyroid and face a lifetime of tests, treatment and monitoring, as well as the symptoms and conditions associated with hypothyroidism.
A new test, called the Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis, can help avoid the negative health effects and costs of these needless thyroidectomies. The test, developed by a company called Veracyte, can help patients and physicians avoid inconclusive results on thyroid nodules through a two-step process. The first step is cytopathology. Indeterminate samples go through step two, a proprietary Gene Expression Classifier, which then classifies indeterminate nodules as either benign or suspicious. The goal of the Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis is to give doctors better information that can help patients with thyroid nodules avoid inconclusive FNA results –- and the potential diagnostic odyssey and unnecessary surgery that can follow such results.