Lege Artis Medicinae

[STATE-OF-THE ART COMPLEX TREATMENT OF THYROID CANCERS]

LUKÁCS Géza

FEBRUARY 21, 2008

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2008;18(02)

[Thyroid cancers derived from follicular epithelial cells are histologically classified as papillary, follicular and anaplastic. Cancers that originate from parafollicular, or C-cells, are termed medullary carcinomas. Their annual incidence is fairly low; 3 to 7 cases per 100 000 people. After the Chernobyl disaster, however, thyroid cancers have received much attention. They often occur at young age, and frequently and early give metastases. They typically grow slowly and have a good prognosis even in the metastatic stage. The main prognostic factors include age, tumour size and extent, the completeness of surgical removal, distant metastases and tumour grade. Based on these parameters, they are classified into high-risk and low-risk groups. There are no prospective randomized studies available on the optimal treatment of thyroid cancers. Their biological aggressiveness differs according to geographic location, which explaines why the management of thyroid carcinomas has not been standardized internationally. Contrary to America and Australia, in Europe there are several endemic goitre regions, and background radiation is higher. It is generally accepted that here the standard therapy of choice is total thyreoidectomy with adequate lymph node dissection followed by postoperative radioiodine ablation. It is a reasonable demand to minimize the higher morbidity associated with radical surgery (e.g., recurrent nerve palsy, postoperative hypoparathyroidism) below 1%. It is recommended that such operations are performed by experienced thyroid surgeons in centres with multidisciplinary endocrine teams.]

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