I read with great interest the recent article published in the Annals of Academy of Medicine Singapore entitled, ‘Surgeon-Performed Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (SP-US-FNAC) Shortens Time for Diagnosis of Thyroid Nodules, Ann Acad Med Singapore 2014;43:320-4’. Indeed, ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (US-FNA) is an exceptionally valuable and simple approach for the diagnosis of thyroid nodules, and has a much higher sensitivity and specificity compared to conventional palpation-directed biopsy techniques. Non-radiologists (surgeons, endocrinologists or sonographers) are also increasingly involved in US assessment and US-FNA of thyroid nodules, which translates into shorter waiting time for the patient and greater patient satisfaction. Many recent epidemiological studies have shown the rapidly rising incidence of thyroid cancers despite stable low mortality rates of such cancers. Most of the increase was contributed by the rise in the diagnosis of small papillary thyroid cancers, which generally have an indolent course and a favourable long-term prognosis.
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