The thyroid is a gland in the lower neck that releases hormones related to growth and metabolism (the process of converting food into energy). Cancer in the thyroid gland can spread to other parts of the body, but not all thyroid nodules (growths) are cancerous. As well, some types of thyroid cancer are not aggressive and can be left alone.
Since the 1970s, the rate of thyroid cancer diagnoses has increased. Improved diagnostic accuracy with molecular testing could lead to better classification of thyroid nodules and result in fewer unnecessary treatments.
This health technology assessment looked at how accurate, useful, and cost-effective molecular testing is for people with thyroid nodules of indeterminate cytology (that is, the cells are not clearly cancerous but not clearly benign). It also looked at the budget impact of publicly funding molecular testing, and at the experiences, preferences, and values of people with thyroid nodules of indeterminate cytology.
Read the full Health Technology Assessment report for more information.
Molecular Testing for Thyroid Nodules of Indeterminate Cytology: A Health Technology Assessment
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The Ministry of Health is currently reviewing this recommendation.
The Ministry of Health has provided the following response: The Ministry has a standardized process in place to review health technology assessments and funding recommendations. This takes into consideration Ministry priorities, implementation options, the need for consultation with impacted stakeholders, and funding considerations.