Thyroid carcinoma is the most common endocrine malignancy worldwide, and its incidence continues to increase. As such the approach to a recently identified thyroid nodule is important to understand. The relevant imaging, examination, and need for fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNA) are discussed. In approximately 25% of nodules, the diagnosis cannot be established with FNA-based cytology, and surgical excision is necessary for definitive diagnosis. Recent advances in genetic and molecular testing may increase the diagnostic accuracy of FNA in managing thyroid nodules.
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