Do you think a sonographer knows if a lump is c... - Thyroid UK

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Do you think a sonographer knows if a lump is cancer or not?

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So, I had my FNA today, it wasn't pleasant but I survived!!

When I checked in for my appointment the nurse told me that many times the sonographer/Dr doesn't actually carry out the FNA because they feel it is unnecessary after doing the ultrasound. Within 30 seconds of the ultrasound starting, the Dr told the nurse to get the needle ready . . . what did he see???

I have had a lump on the left side of my neck which I was originally told was a haemorrhagic cyst. It has got smaller but the Dr decided to go ahead with the FNA.

I asked him what he thought it was but he didn't give much away.

I have a few small nodules on the right side but the Dr didn't want to biopsy them as he seemed very sure they were benign.

Do you think they can actually see something suspicious but are not allowed to say anything OR am I just reading too much into it?


6 Replies


An ultrasound scan may indicate that there are suspicious characteristics to a nodule but FNA is required to confirm or rule out malignancy. The samples have to be examined by a pathologist to determine whether the nodule is benign or malignant

The doctor would be foolishly jumping to conclusions to say anything before the path lab had examined the tissue and identified what kind of cells they are. The doc or nurse could have explained that though. Try not to worry as most lumps are benign but best to be sure.

Try not to worry. It can be one if two things. They will send it for a test. And the labs will find out what it is. And they will let you know as soon as possible.xx

They’re not allowed to say, I expect due to repercussions from consultants & the effect it may have on patients.

I knew I had a pituitary tumour before my MRI, but even after explaining to the radiographer how I knew, he wasn’t at liberty to confirm what showed up in the scan.

I had an MRI on my spine and my Gp and Gynaecologist mentioned a large mass on my ovary. Totally unrelated and both said it was nothing to worry about but the Radiographer had noted it on my records. I’d suggest mentioning it at your next appointment.

I guess the size, shape and "feel" of the nodule will raise suspicion as to whether it could be cancerous. The FNA not only determines if it is cancerous or not, it will also determine the type of cancer, there are five types and if you have one of them hope and prey that it is the papilloma variety, that has, I think, a 90% survival rate. The other end of the spectrum is medullary, you don't want that, that's almost not survivable.

Oh and btw, this info is about 10 years old, numbers may have been updated at this point.

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