Thyroid Conditions and Diagnostic Services

In the Thyroid Center, our specialists are treat all thyroid and parathyroid conditions you may have. These conditions, include, the following:

  • Hypothyroidism—an underactive thyroid gland that does not produce enough thyroid hormone such as in Hashimoto’s disease or after thyroid surgery
  • Hyperthyroidism—an overactive thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormone from different causes, such as toxic nodules or Graves’ disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis—an autoimmune condition that is very common, sometimes causing the thyroid to not be able to produce enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism)
  • Graves’ disease—an autoimmune condition where there is excess production of thyroid hormone
  •  Graves’ Eye Disease—thyroid eye disease with bulging or swelling of the eyes
  • Nodules of the thyroid, benign and malignant—thyroid nodules are made up of cells that form a lump on the thyroid gland which may or may not require surgery. Nodules may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous)
  • Goiter—enlargement of the thyroid (with or without nodules) that can present without symptoms or sometimes cause problems with breathing and swallowing
  • Pregnancy-related and postpartum thyroid disease—changes in thyroid hormone levels during and after pregnancy
  • Inherited thyroid disorders—rare conditions present at birth and managed over time including congenital hypothyroidism
  • Hyperparathyroidism—a condition caused by the parathyroid glands that produce too much parathyroid hormone leading to high calcium levels that may weaken the bones and also a cause of kidney stones
  • Hypoparathyroidism—a condition that results in low calcium levels from insufficient parathyroid hormone, sometimes seen after extensive thyroid or parathyroid surgery

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is a malignant growth of the thyroid gland. Once we detect the cancerous tissue, we can treat you with surgery, possibly with radioactive iodine. If we discover your thyroid cancer at a very early stage, you may be eligible for active surveillance by monitoring your tumor for progression over time and, in some cases, delaying or even avoiding surgery.

Our Thyroid Center specialists are experts in accurately diagnosing and then treating thyroid cancer.  While thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the United States, we have new techniques that allow us to detect, diagnose, and treat you.

Your treatment and prognosis depend on the type of thyroid cancer you have. Ask your doctor about your best options for your treatment. We treat various types of thyroid cancer, such as:

  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer—very rare and may spread quickly to other parts of the body
  • Follicular thyroid cancer—rarely spreads to other parts of the body
  • Medullary thyroid cancer—tends to run in families and may spread to other parts of the body
  • Papillary thyroid cancer—most common form of thyroid cancer, grows slowly and may spread to lymph nodes
  • Thyroid lymphoma—rare and treatable with chemotherapy

Active Surveillance for Early Stage, Low Risk Thyroid Cancer

If you have early stage, low risk thyroid cancer, you may not require immediate surgery. Your Thyroid Center doctor will discuss with you if you are a good candidate for our Active Surveillance Program.

Based on extensive studies of thyroid cancer patients in Japan, active surveillance has become a safe treatment approach under certain circumstances. In brief, you may be considered eligible for active surveillance, if your cancer is less than 10 mm in size and you have no evidence of suspicious lymph node involvement. In addition, your tumor must not be located on the back surface of the thyroid gland, where it is near your vocal cord nerve. If you are is interested in this management approach, it is important that you understand that there may be a need to undergo surgery at a later date if there is documented tumor growth, and if there is evidence of new lymph node involvement.

While the safety of this approach for appropriately selected patients has been well documented, if you are not comfortable with this strategy at any time during active surveillance, you may elect to undergo immediate surgery. You may also choose to delayed surgery. We are happy to discuss this approach with you and to determine if you this is a good option for you.

We ensure that you receive the care you need to manage your health, from benign nodules that may become malignant to more advanced forms of the disease. Thyroid cancer found early is usually easily treatable with a good outcome.

Diagnostic Services We Provide

At the Thyroid Center, our specialists will perform a series of tests to find the cause and the nature of your thyroid condition. We work together to ensure an accurate diagnosis, and along with you, we determine the best course of action for your treatment.

Typically, we start by checking your hormone levels through laboratory tests and looking at your gland with an ultrasound machine. If needed, we conduct additional tests right here at the Thyroid Center, such as:

  • Blood work—including thyroid function tests to see if your thyroid is functioning properly and thyroid antibody testing to determine if your body is producing antibodies that could cause a thyroid disorder
  • Real-time thyroid ultrasound—to review the anatomy of your thyroid
  • Thyroid biopsies—fine needle aspiration biopsy that removes tissue that is immediately analyzed to determine if it is benign or cancerous
  • Molecular profiling of indeterminate thyroid nodules—to diagnose the composition of the nodule and its risk of being benign or malignant
  • Radioactive iodine studies—to diagnose the condition of your thyroid gland
  • Genetic testing for you and your family—to determine your risk for familial thyroid disorders

During our evaluation of your condition, we also may perform additional imaging diagnostics, such as:

  • Radioiodine uptake and scan of the thyroid—a nuclear medicine study to detect where your thyroid takes up iodine, used to diagnose the cause of hyperthyroidism
  • Computerized tomography (CT)—creates a cross-sectional image of your thyroid or parathyroid gland and can detect abnormal lymph nodes in your neck
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—detects very small changes in your thyroid gland, as well as adjacent structures and the presence of abnormal lymph nodes in your neck
  • Radioiodine whole body scan—a nuclear medicine study used to detect thyroid cancer recurrence and thyroid cancer metastasis (spreading to other parts of the body)
  • Positron emissions tomography (PET)—an imaging technique that uses nuclear medicine to see how the thyroid gland functions by observing metabolic processes in the body; sometimes used to diagnose thyroid cancer recurrence and metastases (spreading to other parts of the body)