Banner Health
Making healthcare easier

Thyroid Cancer Tests, Diagnosis, Stages and Prognosis

Managing a thyroid cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. The expert team at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center is here to help every step of the way. Learn more about tests, diagnoses and prognoses for thyroid cancer. 

What Tests Are Used to Diagnose Thyroid Cancer?

There are a variety of thyroid cancer tests used to diagnose thyroid cancer. Ranging from imaging tests to biopsy to blood tests, your doctor can prescribe the best tests for you. 

Imaging tests for thyroid cancer can include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Radioiodine scan
  • CT scan
  • Chest x-ray
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan

Blood tests for thyroid cancer can include:

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • Thyroid hormone levels
  • And more 

Are There Screening Tests for Thyroid Cancer?

While there is no standard for screening for thyroid cancer, it is recommended that you check with your doctor about how to test for thyroid cancer annually if you are concerned. Ensure you are checking your neck in case any lumps start to form. 

What is the Prognosis of a Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis?

The prognosis for thyroid cancer largely depends on the type of thyroid cancer and the stage. For common thyroid cancers like papillary and follicular thyroid cancer, age plays a part in determining an accurate prognosis. 

Age is not as big of a factor for medullary thyroid cancer prognosis. If the cancer has not spread, there is a 95% 10-year survival for patients diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer.

Thyroid Cancer Stages

Thyroid cancer can be diagnosed in with the TNM stage system:

  • Tumor (T)
  • Node (N)
  • Metastasis (M)

Utilizing the TNM system in tandem with the five stages of thyroid cancer, stage 0 through stage IV (4), doctors can define your stage of thyroid cancer. Your doctor can discuss the next steps after your diagnosis for treatment options. 

Trust the experts at Banner MD Anderson to assist with testing and determining a diagnosis and prognosis. As one of the leaders in thyroid cancer, Banner MD Anderson’s team of experts is here to help. 

Request an appointment