Some children with thyroid cancer do experience symptoms—such as a lump in the neck.
Others are diagnosed before they have any symptoms, which is why it’s so important to take your child for regular check-ups. In order to diagnose thyroid cancer, your child’s physician will take a complete medical history and conduct a physical examination. Your child’s physician may also perform other diagnostic procedures, including:
- blood tests, to see if the thyroid is functioning properly
- an ultrasound (also called sonography) to confirm the presence of a thyroid mass
Like other cancers, the outcome of thyroid cancer is best when it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages. Our thyroid program is designed to rapidly evaluate patients with thyroid masses in order to quickly get them individualized treatment (or to observation without treatment if their evaluation is reassuring). Children’s Thyroid Program is distinguished by our expertise in ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration—a very safe, minimally-invasive procedure that has eliminated the need for complicated surgery in most patients.