Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 176, Issue 2, pp 87–90 | Cite as

Changing patterns of thyroid carcinoma

  • B. Dijkstra
  • R. S. Prichard
  • A. Lee
  • L. M. Kelly
  • P. P. A. Smyth
  • T. Crotty
  • E. W. McDermott
  • A. D. K. Hill
  • N. O’Higgins
Original Article



To assess changing trends in histological types of thyroid cancer in an Irish hospital over the past 30 years.


Biographical data, tumour characteristics, treatment and outcome from 190 patients with thyroid carcinoma from 1970 to 2000 were reviewed retrospectively.


Detailed records of 190 patients with thyroid cancer were identified with a mean age at presentation of 50 years. From 1970 to 1979 the distribution of histological types was: papillary carcinoma; 9 patients (4.7%), follicular; 17 patients (8.9%), anaplastic; 9 patients (4.7%), medullary; 1 patient (0.5%) and lymphoma; 1 patient (0.5%). From 1980 to 1989 papillary carcinoma accounted for 32 patients (16.8%), follicular; 14 patients (7.3%), anaplastic; 13 patients (6.8%), medullary; 7 patients (3.7%) and lymphoma; 5 patients (2.6%). From 1990 to 1999 papillary cancer accounted for 48 patients (25.2%), follicular; 14 patients (7.3%), anaplastic; 8 patients (4.2%), medullary; 7 patients (3.7%) and lymphoma; 5 patients (2.6%). Survival rates were significantly better for those aged less than 45 years (P < 0.0001), female sex (P < 0.01) and those with papillary carcinoma (P < 0.01).


This study demonstrated a significant increase in the incidence of papillary carcinoma. This may be related to increasing dietary iodine intake and may be significant as papillary carcinoma is associated with a more favourable prognosis.


Epidemiology Iodine uptake Prognosis Thyroid carcinoma Thyroid surgery 


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Dijkstra
    • 1
  • R. S. Prichard
    • 1
  • A. Lee
    • 1
  • L. M. Kelly
    • 1
  • P. P. A. Smyth
    • 2
  • T. Crotty
    • 3
  • E. W. McDermott
    • 1
  • A. D. K. Hill
    • 1
  • N. O’Higgins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgerySt Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Endocrine LaboratoryUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of PathologySt Vincent’s University HospitalDublinIreland

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