Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy(FNA)

• It is a simple

• It takes 20 to 30 minutes

• No need to fast

• Results in 24 to 48 hours

• Report with high graphic content

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid gland is butterfly-shaped, is located in front of the neck, and produces hormones that regulate part of our body’s metabolism. It also helps regulate calcium levels. For it to function properly, it is necessary to have a balanced diet with the amount of iodine required for the production of thyroid hormones.

What are thyroid nodules?

Thyroid nodules are regrowth or tumors that cover the thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules are very common in the population. We know that most of these are in women and may be associated with rheumatologic diseases as well as iodine deficiencies in the diet. However, its root causes are unknown. Many of these nodules are palpable and visible in the neck area, making it uncomfortable for some patients. Sometimes, patients show symptoms such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, neck pain and others.

What are palpable and non-tangible nodules?

Palpable nodules are easily detected by physical examination by your doctor. However, non-palpable lymph nodes require a more rigorous study such as an ultrasound study, also known as a sonogram. Through ultrasound, the lump may be studied and a sample is obtained using the technique of fine needle puncture (fine needle aspiration, FNA).

What are cold and hot lymph nodes?

A nuclear scan (also known as thyroid scan) can determine the ability of nodules to metabolize iodine. By administering a radioactive iodine pill, we can study the way in which the nodule metabolizes iodine. Cold nodules do not metabolize a portion of radioiodine during the study. Hot nodules capture (metabolize) radioactive iodine during the study. We know that the probability of detecting cancer in a solitary cold nodule is greater than that of hot nodules, although the probability is low in both.

What is fine needle aspiration guided by ultrasonography (USG-FNA) and what is its function?

The USG-FNA, for its English acronym, is a simple test by which the ultrasound technique studies localized nodules; and cells are obtained using a thin needle pointed at the nodule. Once the sample is taken, a specialist pathologist looks at the cells under a microscope and issues a final diagnosis. According to most studies, the likelihood that a biopsy of thyroid nodules finds cancer is low, less than 5%.

What is Onychomycosis?

Onychomycosis is an infection of the nails on the hands or feet caused by yeasts, better known as dermatophytosis (Trichophyton and Microsporum). It is a very common condition and affects, in most cases, more adults than children. It is more frequently found in the feet than in the hands. When there is an infection of this kind, the skin adjacent to the nail can be affected and the infection may be transmitted to other healthy nails and from person to person. Among the most commonly exposed patients are people with diabetes and athletes. It affects the circulation in the extremities of the body.

What are the symptoms?

Usually, there are no symptoms. It affects the appearance of the nails. As the condition advances, its aspect is less pleasant. When it begins, the nail turns yellow or can bleach; later, a green stain may appear, until it becomes unpleasant and separates little by little from the skin. As the infection progresses, other symptoms can appear such as discomfort and pain in the area as when using certain shoes.

How can the Onychomycosis infection be avoided?

There is no specific prescription to avoid the infection. The fundamental thing is to maintain good hygiene, a clean and dry area. It is recommended that people use shoes that allow the foot to perspire and give good maintenance to the nails. It is common for infection to occur when one nail is infected and the rest are healthy. To avoid infection, patients should disinfect scissors and files before using them on healthy nails. Infection most commonly occurs from person to person. For example, you have a pedicure at a place where a person with Onychomycosis on their feet just had one and the instruments were used without being sterilized or your nails get polished with the same brush. This is a common case of infection. Patients who have had ingrown nails for a long time, may also be exposed to the infection, although it is less common.

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer; nevertheless, it is rare in comparison with other cancers. In the United States, there are approximately 20,000 new patients per year. Although a cancer diagnosis is terrifying, the forecast for thyroid cancer patients is usually excellent. First, because most thyroid cancers are easily curable with surgery. Second, because thyroid cancer rarely produces pain or incapacity. Third, an easy and effective process exists to treat the most common forms of thyroid cancer.

What are the signs of thyroid cancer?

The main sign of thyroid cancer is a lump (nodule) in the thyroid and most cancers produce no symptoms. Nevertheless, doctors can discover the nodule during a routine physical exam or you can notice a lump in the neck when looking at yourself in the mirror. Some patients with thyroid cancer complain of neck pain or pain in the jaw or the ears. If the cancer nodule is large, it can cause difficulty swallowing, a tickling in the throat, or difficulty breathing if it is pressuring the windpipe. It can sometimes, but rarely, produce hoarseness if the cancer irritates a nerve that goes toward the larynx.

What is the cause of thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is more common in people with history of exposing the thyroid gland to radiation, have a family history of thyroid cancer, or in people over the age of 40. Nevertheless, in most patients, the specific reason for developing thyroid cancer is unknown.

Exposure to radiation can cause thyroid cancer in susceptible patients, especially if the exposure occurred during infancy.

Thyroid cancer can also be caused by absorbing radioactive iodine freed during an accident at a nuclear energy plant, such as the one that occurred at Chernobyl in Russia. Exposed children were the most affected and the cancers began a few years after the disaster. You can be protected from developing thyroid cancer at a nuclear plant accident by taking potassium iodide, which prevents the thyroid gland from absorbing the radioactive iodine. The United States government is currently developing some recommendations to distribute potassium iodide to the people that live near nuclear energy plants.


What are the types of thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is an illness by which harmful cells are formed (and become cancerous) in the thyroid gland tissue. The thyroid is a gland in the base of the throat near the windpipe. It has the shape of a butterfly; it has a right lobe and a left lobe. The isthmus, a thin piece of tissue, connects the two lobes. A healthy thyroid is a little larger than a quarter dollar. Generally, it is not palpable through the skin. The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to help to synthetize several hormones. Thyroid hormones have the following functions:
They control the heart frequency, body temperature, and the speed at which food is transformed into energy (metabolism).
They control the quantity of calcium in the blood.

There are four main types of thyroid cancer:

  • Papillary Carcinoma: the most common type of thyroid cancer (95% of all cancer of thyroid) . Easily curable by surgery with excellent prognosis.
  • Follicular Carcinoma: Second most common and more aggressive than Papillary Carcinoma.
  • Medullary Carcinoma: More aggressive than Follicular carcinoma. Derived from C cells of the thyroid.
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer: Very rare and extremely aggressive. Prognosis is the worst.

Do you know...?

Contact Us

Mailing Address:

PMB 59

400 Calle Calaf

San Juan PR 00918

Medical Services

Atlantic Pathology’s main office is conveniently located at Manatí. We also offer Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) clinics at the Torre Médica in Plaza Las Americas and Hospital Susoni in Arecibo. For appointments, contact us at 787-854-7270 or 787-221-0171. Our operating hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a. m. to 5:00 p. m. We accept most health insurance plans.

Contact Us

Physical Address:

Calle Mckinkley I-26

Urb. Flamboyan

Manatí, P.R. 00674