Evaluation and Medical Management of Thyroid Cancer

  • Margaret M. Petersen
  • I. Ross McDougall
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 52)


Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, yet there are only about 12,100 new cases per year in the U.S. with 1,100 deaths annually. In contrast, clinically significant thyroid nodules are found in 5% of the population and of those evaluated, about 10% have been shown to be malignant. This has been demonstrated by several studies using fine needle aspiration (FNA) which has been found to be more accurate than ultrasound or scintigraphy in predicing malignancy in thyroid nodules. The above figures suggest that the risk of death from a malignant thyroid nodule is very low. Thyroid cancer generally has a good prognosis, particularly in the 70–90% of patients (in the U.S.) who have well-differentiated cancers. There are now numerous retrospective studies on significant numbers of patients who have been followed for a sufficient length of time to enable important conclusions to be drawn regarding management and therapy [1–4]. Major controversies still exist regarding both the extent of surgical resection of the thyroid following diagnosis and the role of radioiodine therapy. There are a small number of patients with aggressive forms of thyroid cancer in whom the prognosis is bleak and the survival rate so low that clinicians have been unable to follow them long enough to judge whether treatments are influencing outcome.


Thyroid Cancer Thyroid Carcinoma Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Thyroid Nodule Total Thyroidectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret M. Petersen
  • I. Ross McDougall

There are no affiliations available

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