Diagnosing Thyroid Cancer

This information is useful for adults and older adults
A woman touches her thyroid, she is wearing a blouse her face is not visible.
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Yale Medicine physicians have extensive experience finding and detecting thyroid cancers, and knowing how to treat them.
  • Our laboratories have the most up-to-date equipment and expertise for making correct diagnoses.
  • If surgery is required, a Yale Medicine lab analyzes the patient's thyroid tissue during the operation, to confirm when cancerous material has been successfully removed.

The thyroid gland sits above the collarbone at the base of the neck and makes hormones that are important to keeping bodily functions on track. Approximately 63,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid. Thyroid cancer occurs more often in women than in men and other risk factors include high exposure to radiation and/or certain types of inherited syndromes.

When thyroid cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is higher than 98 percent according to the National Institutes of Health. This means it's important to have regular physical exams that include getting your thyroid checked so that any necessary treatment can begin quickly. Yale Medicine physicians are highly experienced both in diagnosing thyroid cancers if they are present.