Objectives: A public thyroid screening protocol incorporating ultrasonography was developed and implemented as a feature of the National Thyroid Cancer Awareness month. Findings and lessons learned are described. Methods: Prospective analysis of participants in a 1-day thyroid screening protocol and review of findings and referrals generated during the screening process. Results: A total of 39 patients participated in the thyroid-screening protocol. Thirty-two (82%) patients were female and 7 (18%) were male, with an overall mean age of 52.9 ± 14.1 years (range: 20-79). Seventeen (44%) patients indicated a known history of thyroid pathology, and 5 (13%) patients reported a family history of thyroid disease. The most common complaints offered on a patient intake survey were weight gain (38%) and dysphagia (36%). Thirty patients (77%) underwent thyroid ultrasound (US). The majority of patients (69%) had an abnormal US; the most common abnormality found was multinodular goiter (21%). Eighteen participants were referred to endocrinology for further evaluation, 13 have been evaluated and 3 patients have had fine-needle aspirations performed. Two patients have undergone thyroid surgery. The majority of patients (67%) believed that the thyroid-screening increased their awareness and knowledge of thyroid and head and neck cancer. Conclusions: A public thyroid screening activity proved to be a valuable mechanism for the dual purpose of identifying individuals with thyroid pathology needing further evaluation, and increased public awareness and knowledge of thyroid and head and neck cancer. Additional value related to the provision of a community service and opportunity to increase experience with ultrasonography.
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