One of the most frustrating challenges facing endocrinologists and thyroid patients is when a biopsy on a suspicious nodule is found to be “inconclusive” or “indeterminate”. This can happen in up to 30% of biopsies!! Of these, only a minority are cancerous. Previously, the only way to be certain was to perform surgery; however, a new test, called the Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis (www.veracyte.com/afirma
), is being offered at the Thyroid Institute of Utah.
This test can help avoid the negative health effects and costs of up to 50% of unnecessary thyroid surgeries. The test, developed by a company called Veracyte, can help patients and physicians avoid inconclusive results on thyroid nodules through a two-step process. Indeterminate samples go through step two, a genetic test on the biopsy sample, which then classifies indeterminate nodules as either benign or suspicious. There still remains an approximately 5% chance that the test did not pick up the cancer, but your thyroid specialist will take that into account.
THIS TEST IS NOW ROUTINELY PERFORMED AT THE THYROID INSTITUTE OF UTAH!! We are the only clinic in Utah offering technology of this type, and the best part is that it recently received approval from Medicare. It is very affordable–for a few hundred dollars you can avoid a surgery that can cost $12,000.