Thyroid Gene Test May Help Avoid Surgery

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Updated: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 11:06:37 EST

      John Wells had a health scare a few years ago.

 John Wells says, "In 1999 I had a thyroid nodule in my left thyroid, left lobe of my thyroid."

 He had surgery then and was afraid he would have to go under the knife a second time when doctors discovered another thyroid nodule in his right lobe.

 "Here I am facing another thyroid surgery which is a repeat," said Wells.

 To avoid surgery, wells took a new genomic test called the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier.

 Doctors say the test can determine if a thyroid nodule is cancerous.

 "The test is very useful for is basically telling patients either based on your gene expression pattern the nodule is very unlikely to be a cancer."

 Doctor Barry Johns says if the nodule is not cancerous, surgery is off the table.

And experts say the test helps thousands of Americans avoid having their thyroid removed.

 Dr. Johns says "Now I have the ability with the gene expression classifier technology to give patients a much more sophisticated recommendation as to whether or not a surgery in their best interest or not.”

 Doctors say the test is quick and simple.

 Wells says, "Painless I went back to work as soon as I left here they stuck a Band-Aid on the area that they put the needle in and that was it."

 Reassuring patients like wells that they are cancer free.

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