1. Thyroid function tests
This is a blood test where the levels of your thyroid hormones (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) are measured. If your levels of thyroid hormones are too high (hyperthyroidism), you may experience symptoms such as palpitations, feeling hot easily, irritability, diarrhoea, weight loss and increased appetite.
If your thyroid hormone levels are too low (hypothyroidism) you may feel easily tired and lethargic, gain weight easily, constipation, memory loss and feeling cold easily.
Thyroid-related diseases cannot be excluded even if the thyroid function test is within normal ranges.
2. Ultrasound Scan
In this scan, sound waves are used to produce a picture of your thyroid gland and neck structures on a screen. The ultrasound scan is very useful for evaluating thyroid nodules and to look for features that may indicate that the thyroid nodule is suspicious for cancer. It is also useful for looking for any enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. This scan is painless and there is no ionising radiation involved.
3. Fine-needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC)
Your doctor may advise you to undergo a biopsy to evaluate the lump if he feels that it is needed.
A fine-needle aspiration biopsy is a procedure where the doctor will pass a small needle through the lump to aspirate some cells for the lump for further testing. These cells will be examined under a microscope to look for signs of cancer.
This biopsy is often done using an ultrasound to guide the doctor to biopsy the correct place.
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