The UPMC Multidisciplinary Thyroid Center

August 13, 2020

Expediting the Diagnosis and Treatment of Thyroid Cancer and Diseases

This year, an estimated 52,890 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer and an estimated 2,180 deaths will result from the disease. It is well-known that the 5-year relative survival rates are significantly better when thyroid cancer is detected at the localized and regional stages. Although the 5-year relative survival for localized thyroid cancer is 99.9%, only 66.5% of patients are diagnosed at the localized stage.

Patients referred to the Multidisciplinary Thyroid Center at UPMC can access a variety of specialists and advanced testing methodologies all in one place. By employing a coordinated care approach, diagnoses and treatments for thyroid cancer and other thyroid diseases are expedited with same-day diagnostic and screening services as well as access to novel molecular diagnostic testing of thyroid nodules and tissues. 

Spotlight on Same-Day Diagnostic Screening

On-site diagnostic testing enables endocrinologists and radiologists to detect suspicious thyroid nodules and cancers at their earliest stages for improved treatment outcomes. The Multidisciplinary Thyroid Center’s comprehensive, same-day services include Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) biopsy of thyroid nodules and diagnostic ultrasound of the thyroid.

2015 ATA Guidelines for Management of Thyroid NodulesThyroid nodules are common and present in approximately 50% of all patients by 50 to 60 years of age. To date, FNA is considered the best diagnostic approach for distinguishing between benign and malignant nodules. After a tissue sample is extracted from your patient, an onsite cytologist will review the sample. If the sample shows malignant cytology, a surgeon consult is arranged that same day. For patients with inconclusive FNA biopsy results, the advanced molecular test, Thyro-Seq—pioneered at UPMC—looks for unique genetic alterations in the tissue sample to determine an accurate diagnosis. Additionally, our radiologists are experts in using ultrasound to guide the need for FNA and evaluate thyroid nodules, offering patients a noninvasive procedure for the diagnoses and treatment of thyroid conditions as well as thyroid cancer. All ultrasound scans are interpreted after the procedure for same-day diagnosis.

The team at UPMC is comprised of leading national experts in various thyroid-related specialties who collaborate to create personalized treatment plans for individual patients using the latest medical techniques and advanced surgical methods. In addition, our physician-researchers are actively pioneering efforts to develop novel strategies for earlier diagnosis, more effective treatment, and the prevention of thyroid cancer.

For Referring Physicians

The team at the Multidisciplinary Thyroid Center works closely with referring physicians to provide a comprehensive team approach that meets your patient’s specific needs. To refer a patient to the Multidisciplinary Thyroid Center, please call 412-586-9700.

Interested in receiving specialty-specific information? Register for UPMC Physician Resources to get emerging research, clinical updates, and free CME straight to your inbox.