The FNAC test is a diagnostic test that is performed through a needle. A small amount of tissue is removed with the help of the needle and sent to a lab for testing.
FNAC Test full form: Full form of the FNAC test is – the “Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology” test. This test is simple and inexpensive and involves a very quick process.
When the doctor sees abnormal growth in the tissue, the FNAC test is done. This procedure can be done to check for diseases of the thyroid, salivary gland, and lymph nodes.
FNAC test is very accurate and gives results very fast. It does not leave any kind of mark on the skin. That’s why it’s a non-invasive test.
What is the purpose of this test?
When a lump is formed in the skin or in the external parts of the body such as the throat or breast, the doctor recommends doing this test.
With the help of some imaging procedures such as X-ray, ultrasound and mammogram etc., the abnormality present in the skin can also be detected.
If any abnormal lump is noticed during routine health check-ups or other tests, then the doctor will especially ask for this test to be done.
This test helps to find out the nature of the lump. Earlier the procedures through which lumps were examined had many complications such as scarring on the skin, pain etc.
But these problems have been reduced to a great extent through the FNAC test.
In this test, with the help of a fine needle, samples are taken from the tissues that are suspected of having a lump. The FNAC test checks for both tactile and untouchable lumps.
This means that the FNAC test also tests for lumps that are visible on the skin, along with those lumps that are not visible through the direct eyes.
The needle used for the FNAC test is very fine, it is hollow inside and is different from the normal needle.
Before FNAC Test
No special preparation is required for FNAC Test. However, you can take any information about the test from the doctor without any hesitation.
During FNAC Test
The doctor will inquire about the lump before starting the actual procedure of the FNAC Test. When you come to visit the doctor, the doctor will also ask you about the place where the lump was. The doctor may also ask you about the feeling of pain or heaviness in the lump.
The doctor will see the size and location of the lump with his own hand. After all this, the actual process will be started.
- If the lump is palpable, the doctor will press the area around it to find a suitable place to insert the needle.
- If the lump is not palpable, the doctor will do an ultrasound to identify where the needle is to be inserted.
While holding the lump lightly with one hand, samples are taken by applying a needle with light pressure.
Usually, two to three samples have to be taken for testing. Therefore, the lump of which the sample is to be taken is fixed by the doctor between his two fingers.
The entire process (injection and sample taking) should take between twenty to forty seconds as this is enough time for this process.
The needle will be removed carefully and slowly even before bleeding begins. The sample taken will be sent to the lab for testing and the results will be out in 3-4 days.
If the test is being done by an experienced doctor, there will be no problem with the test. You may only have slight bruising at the injection site for a short time or the skin may become slightly dry.
There may be a slight pain, but if the medicine of general anesthesia is used, then this pain can also be reduced.
What do FNAC test results mean?
The FNAC test results give information about the lump. The results show whether the lump is cancerous or not. If the condition is not understood, a surgical biopsy is needed.