There is now a new test we are using in addition to the regular needle biopsy called the Afirma or Veracyt or Gene array assay. It has been introduced to help further in the identification of nodules for malignancy when the FNA result is indeterminate or atypical. Basically if the Afirma is negative it is said that there is a 95% chance the nodule in question is benign, and if it is positive the chances of malignancy are 40%.
The test is useful in reducing the number of benign nodules removed, but the long term follow up of patients who had negative results and no surgery are not available as yet. Nevertheless I have confidence in the test and use it to reduce unnecessary surgery.
More about this test can be found at: http://thyroid.about.com/od/cancergoiternodules/a/veracyte-afirma-thyroid-analysis-nodules.htm
Just to be clear, I have no financial connection with any company that does this test, and I have no financial incentives to order this or any other tests. I receive no kick backs from anyone!