Part III: neoplastic thyroid disease. Little JW 1. Thyroid tumors are the most common endocrine neoplasms. Most of these tumors are benign hyperplastic or colloid nodules or benign follicular adenomas.
A major clinical challenge is establishing which nodules are hyperplastic, benign, or malignant. History, clinical findings, ultrasonography, and fine-needle aspiration biopsy are the mainstays for diagnosis. There are 3 main histologic types of thyroid cancer: differentiated, medullary, and anaplastic.
Differentiated lesions are subdivided into papillary, follicular, and Hurthle cell carcinomas. In addition, primary benign cancer types may occur in the thyroid gland and other cancers may metastasize to the thyroid.
An important neoplastic syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 MEN2involves medullary carcinoma of the thyroid gland. In there were 10 benign cancer types of thyroid cancer per population. The prognosis for anaplastic carcinoma is very poor and 5-year survival is rare.
The dentist by inspection and palpation of the neck in the area of the thyroid gland may detect single or multiple lesions that may be benign or malignant.
Patients with identified nodules or enlarged thyroid glands should be referred for diagnosis and treatment. Patients with thyroid cancer will benefit from the early benign cancer types and treatment of their lesions as early detection can lead to a cure or prolongation of their life.