How is Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis performed?
Your doctor will collect a sample from your thyroid in the traditional manner – with a fine needle aspiration (FNA). This typically involves inserting a short thin needle into the nodule to collect cells for review under the microscope. During the same procedure, your doctor will also collect cells for evaluation with Afirma Gene Expression Classifier (GEC). Afirma GEC will be conducted automatically if the initial results are “indeterminate” and genomic testing is needed to help obtain a definitive answer. By having all samples collected at the same time, you will not need to come back to the doctor for another FNA procedure if more testing is needed.

What does Afirma Gene Expression Classifier measure?
Afirma GEC measures the activity or “expression” levels of more than 100 genes in a thyroid nodule FNA sample. The test is performed when initial cytopathology results are “indeterminate” and thus cannot identify the nodule as benign or suspicious for cancer.

What do the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier results say?
These results are reported to your doctor as either “benign” or “suspicious for malignancy.”

Does a "suspicious" Afirma Gene Expression Classifier result mean that I have cancer?
A “suspicious for cancer” result simply means Afirma Gene Expression Classifier (GEC) could not say with complete certainty that cancer is not present. It does not mean that the nodule is definitely cancerous, but rather that the risk of cancer has increased.

How reliable is Afirma Gene Expression Classifier?
Multiple clinical studies, including one published in the New England Journal of Medicine, have shown that when Afirma Gene Expression Classifier (GEC) identifies an “indeterminate” nodule as benign – which it does approximately half of the time – there is very little chance that cancer is present (about 5%)1. Given the low chance of cancer, which is similar to the chance if the cells look benign under the high-power microscope alone, many doctors recommend following most patients over time, often with ultrasound.

1 Alexander EK N Engl J Med. 2012; 367:705-715.

How widely is Afirma used?
Afirma is used by more than 1,000 doctors and dozens of leading academic centers across the country and around the world.

How can I find a doctor who offers Afirma?
Complete the “Find a Doctor” form and, within one business day, a Veracyte Customer Care representative will match you with a list of doctors in your area who offer Afirma. You may also contact Veracyte Customer Care at 888.9AFIRMA (888.923.4762).

What if my doctor does not already offer Afirma?
You may ask your doctor to contact Veracyte Customer Care at 1.888.9AFIRMA (888.923.4762). We can help him or her get started using the Afirma solution.

Will my insurance cover Afirma?
Afirma Gene Expression Classifier is covered for all Medicare patients, as well as many people with private insurance carriers like UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Humana and Cigna. Veracyte – the company that offers the Afirma solution – will bill your insurance company and work with them to obtain payment. In cases where insurance companies do not cover the Afirma solution, Veracyte offers an Afirma Access Financial Support Program. For more information, please contact Veracyte Customer Care at 888.9AFIRMA (888.923.4762).