Dr Lebedeva speaks with ecancertv at the IFHNOS 2016 session in Moscow about the use of ultrasound and needle aspiration in diagnosing thyroid conditions.
Originally recorded in Russian, English subtitles and transcript are available.
Diagnosis of thyroid cancer from the ultrasound point of view has high sensitivity but poor specificity.
In other words, when we visualise the thyroid gland by ultrasound, we can easily determine that there is a section of tissue that has changed, but we can’t always say whether this section has been changed specifically by thyroid cancer.
Therefore, we are capable of detecting tissue changes, but in most cases it is hard for us to say whether it is cancer, or an adenoma, or a colloid nodule.
For this, we use fine-needle aspiration biopsy.
But we also need ultrasound for this.
Because it serves as a navigator to determine where to put the needle to reach the required spot, in other words, directly into the thyroid nodule.
-Thank you! And second, how can we overcome these problems?
We can overcome them with fine-needle biopsy; in other words, morphological verification. Really, I have already answered that question.
-What else can you tell us about that is important in your work?
Well, probably that the ultrasound diagnostician is the eyes of the physician, and we - the treating physician and the ultrasound diagnostician - must be in constant contact.
Because only by exchanging information can we can improve each other.
And, accordingly, be of maximum aid to the patient.
-Are there any difficulties with this work in Russia specifically?
Unfortunately, in our country, the performance standards for ultrasound diagnosticians were developed for the 1980s when there were not so many ultrasound studies.
Correspondingly, the salary for ultrasound doctors is very low.
In recent years the amount of work has increased dramatically.
Because ultrasound diagnostics has been expanding.
Therefore, you’re working day and night.
And the work is very intense.
So that pretty much sums up the characteristics of Russian ultrasound diagnostics physicians.