Ultrasound guidelines identify children who should be biopsied for thyroid cancer
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MAYWOOD, IL – A Loyola Medicine study has found that new ultrasound guidelines can reliably identify pediatric patients who should be biopsied for thyroid cancer.

The study by radiologist Jennifer Lim-Dunham, MD, and colleagues was presented May 18 during the Society for Pediatric Radiology’s annual meeting in Nashville.

Thyroid cancer is a common cause of cancer in teenagers, and the incidence is increasing for reasons that are unclear. Adolescents have a 10-fold greater incidence than younger children, and the disease is five times more common in girls than boys.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck that secretes hormones needed for regulation of growth, development and metabolism. Cancer may occur within lumps in the thyroid called nodules.

Thyroid nodules typically are found during routine physical exams or on imaging tests such as CT scans done for other reasons. A definitive diagnosis requires a percutaneous fine-needle aspiration biopsy – a minimally invasive procedure in which a physician uses a very small needle to withdraw cells from the nodule. The cells are sent to a pathologist, who makes the diagnosis.

Since most nodules are benign, not all of them require biopsy. Ultrasound exams are used to

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