Thyroid cancer

Last reviewed: 6 Jun 2022
Last updated: 04 Mar 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • palpable thyroid nodule
  • female sex
  • history of head and neck irradiation
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • early adulthood
  • family history of thyroid cancer
  • hoarseness
  • dyspnea
  • dysphagia
  • tracheal deviation
  • cervical lymphadenopathy
  • rapid neck enlargement
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • head and neck irradiation
  • female sex
  • family history of thyroid cancer
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • TSH
  • ultrasound, neck
  • fine-needle biopsy
  • laryngoscopy
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • free T4
  • free T3
  • I-123 thyroid scan and uptake
  • core biopsy
  • CT, neck
  • serum calcitonin
  • genetic testing for familial syndromes
More investigations to consider

Emerging tests

  • ultrasound elastography
  • molecular analysis of cytology specimens
  • sentinel node biopsy

Treatment algorithm

ONGOING

papillary, follicular, or Hurthle

medullary

anaplastic

lymphoma

Contributors

Authors

Rajiv Datta, MD, FACS, FRCS, FICS
Rajiv Datta

Chairman

Department of Surgery

Chief

Division of Surgical Oncology

Chief

Division of Head and Neck Surgery

South Nassau Hospital

Valley Stream

NY

Disclosures

RD declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Ashok R. Shaha, MD, FACS

Professor of Surgery

Cornell University Medical College

Attending Surgeon

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

New York

NY

Disclosures

ARS declares that he has no competing interests.

F. Fausto Palazzo, MS, FRCS

Consultant Endocrine Surgeon

Hammersmith & Charing Cross Hospitals

Clinical Lead for Endocrine Surgery

Honorary Senior Lecturer

Imperial College

London

UK

Disclosures

FFP declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Thyroid cancer images
  • Differentials

    • Benign thyroid nodule
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • NCCN clinical practice guidelines in oncology: thyroid carcinoma
    • Thyroid cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up
    More Guidelines
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