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What is a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy?

A fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNA) is the most accurate test for evaluating thyroid nodules. The biopsy may be performed under ultrasound guidance. A very thin needle is guided into the thyroid nodule and a small sampling of cells is aspirated or sucked into the needle. These cells are then examined under a microscope by a cytologist. An experienced thyroid cytologist is important to increase the accuracy of diagnosis.
Dede Bonner
Health Education

In a fine-needle aspiration biopsy just a few cells are taken and analyzed without taking tissue samples. Pathologist Dr. Uthman at Oak Bend Medical Center in Richmond, Texas, explains his reservations about FNA biopsies: “Many pathologists aren’t comfortable with FNAs because there are more false positives with them. If your doctor prescribes an FNA for you, really question it because most places [labs] don’t want to do them anymore.”

The 10 Best Questions for Surviving Breast Cancer: The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health

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The 10 Best Questions for Surviving Breast Cancer: The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health

A good mind knows the right answers...but a great mind knows the right questions. And never are the Best Questions more important than after a diagnosis of breast cancer. Drawing on cutting-edge...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.