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Thyroid cancer 

Thyroid cancer
Chapter:
Thyroid cancer
Author(s):

Kristien Boelaert

, and Anthony P. Weetman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0247
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date: 27 February 2021

Thyroid cancers are the most common endocrine malignancies and their incidence is rising globally, largely due to significant increases in small, incidentally detected low-risk tumours. Follicular epithelial cell cancer is the commonest type; this usually presents with usually well differentiated tumours and has an excellent prognosis, but occasionally highly undifferentiated; it may be induced by exposure to ionizing radiation. Medullary thyroid carcinoma arises from parafollicular C cells; it comprises 3–5% of all thyroid cancers; usually hereditary autosomal dominant forms associated with germline point mutations in the RET proto-oncogene. Rare thyroid tumours include anaplastic carcinomas, which present as a rapidly enlarging and fixed thyroid masses, sometimes with local pain; they are rapidly fatal; sarcomas; and primary lymphomas—these usually present as a rapidly enlarging thyroid mass in a patient with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

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