Your GP will examine your child, carry out thyroid blood tests and refer you to the hospital to see a specialist for further tests. These tests may include:

  • A fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC): This is also known as a fine needle biopsy. It involves inserting a very thin needle into the thyroid (usually under local anaesthetic) and removing some cells from the lump. These are sent to a laboratory for analysis.

In most cases the test confirms that the lump is benign. In some cases the biopsy will show that there is thyroid cancer present. Sometimes the biopsy does not give a definite answer and there may have to be additional tests or a repeat of the biopsy.

  • A thyroid ultrasound scan: This locates any solid lumps or cysts. An ultrasound scan alone cannot usually show whether the lump is cancerous but it can help doctors interpret the results along with a FNAC.