Dr. Steven Hodak
I’ve always gravitated toward medicine, even in high school, when I was fascinated by physiology, which is the study of how the body works. I chose to specialize in endocrinology because of my particular interest in the role of hormones—molecules that are made by glands and carry messages to organs about numerous body functions. One of the most important glands is the thyroid, which is a butterfly-shaped gland in the base of the neck that controls all the metabolic processes of the body.
My specialty is in diagnosing and treating people who have thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. Though thyroid nodules are common, thyroid cancer is not. Knowing how to distinguish the small number of nodules that are cancerous from the much larger number that are benign is therefore very important.
I am a national expert in molecular thyroid diagnosis, which tests DNA and RNA in thyroid nodule cells to determine which nodules have a very low or high risk of containing thyroid cancer. These tests are done after fine needle aspiration biopsy, which is a nearly painless procedure used to obtain thyroid cells.
By looking at the cells under a microscope and using molecular diagnostic tests, we can determine whether thyroid surgery is absolutely necessary or observation—keeping an eye on the nodules—is more appropriate. Molecular diagnostics can also help us to identify the genetic makeup of thyroid cancer cells, ensuring the best possible match between treatment and the specific genes that make cancers grow.
My expertise in fine needle aspiration biopsy and advanced molecular genetic tests, many of which I helped to develop, has significantly improved our ability to diagnose and treat people who have thyroid cancer, especially when the cancer would otherwise be undetectable.
I work with an amazing multidisciplinary team of surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and oncologists. Together, we provide world-class care for people who have problems that range from simple thyroid nodules to the most complex type of thyroid cancer.
My patients are my top priority, and I am dedicated to providing accessible and compassionate treatment to prevent the condition from diminishing your quality of life, both now and in the future.
●Fellowship, Georgetown University Hospital, 2005
●Residency, Georgetown University Hospital, Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003
●MD from Georgetown University, 1999
●American Board of Internal Medicine (Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism), 2005