Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a technique that allows a biopsy of various bumps and lumps. It allows your otolaryngologist to retrieve enough tissue for microscopic analysis and thus make an accurate diagnosis of a number of problems, such as inflammation or even cancer.

    FNA is used for diagnosis in:

    • Neck lymph nodes
    • Neck cysts
    • Parotid gland
    • Thyroid gland
    • Inside the mouth
    • Any lump that can be felt

    Why Is FNA Important?

    • A mass or lump sometimes indicates a serious problem, such as a growth or cancer. While this is not always the case, the presence of a mass may require FNA for diagnosis.
    • Your age, sex, and habits, such as smoking and drinking, are also important factors that help diagnosis of a mass.
    • Symptoms of ear pain, increased difficulty swallowing, weight loss, or a history of familial thyroid disorder or of previous skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) may be important as well.
    • When found early, most cancers in the head and neck can be cured with relatively little difficulty. Cure rates for these cancers are greatly improved if people seek medical advice as soon as possible. So play it safe. If you have a lump in your head and neck area, see your otolaryngologist right away.

      The University of Texas Health Science

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