Anaplastic thyroid cancer other imaging findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ammu Susheela, M.D. [2]

Overview

PET may be helpful in the diagnosis of anaplastic thyroid cancer. PET may also be performed to detect metastases of anaplastic thyroid cancer to brain and bones.[1]

Key PET Findings in Anaplastic thyroid cancer

  • A PET scan uses radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) to detect changes in the metabolic activity of body tissue and help find areas of active cancer cells. A computer analyzes the radioactive patterns and makes 3-dimensional color images of the area being scanned. It may be used to:
  • PET scan are expensive to perform and may not be as readily available as other imaging tests in certain centres.

Key PET Findings in Anaplastic thyroid cancer

  • A bone scan uses radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) that will gather in the bones and a computer to create a picture of the bones. It may be used to see if the thyroid cancer has spread to the bones.

Key Radioactive iodine scan Findings in Anaplastic thyroid cancer

  • A radioactive iodine scan is also called a radionuclide scan or radioisotope scan. When it is used to examine the thyroid gland, it may be called a thyroid scan. A radioactive iodine scan uses a radioactive material (called an isotope) to highlight the structure of an organ. The radiation given off from the isotope is picked up by a scanning device to form a picture of the organ.
  • Radioactive iodine is the isotope used to detect nodules in the thyroid. These nodules are described as cold or hot nodules.
  • Cold nodules absorb less radioactive iodine than the surrounding thyroid tissue. They may also be called hypofunctioning nodules. Most cold nodules are benign, although some may be cancerous.
  • Warm or hot nodules absorb more radioactive iodine than the surrounding thyroid tissue. They may also be called hyperfunctioning nodules. Hot nodules are usually benign.

References

  1. Thyroid Cancer Canadian Cancer Society (2015). http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/thyroid/diagnosis/?region=sk- Accessed on November, 19 2015

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