Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Thyroid Cancer Occuring with Graves' Disease. Is it More Aggressive?

At LAC/USC Thyroid Conference, a patient was presented and discussed, who had papillary thyroid Cancer and newly diagnosed Graves' Disease with hyperthyroidism. A paper from Italy was presented, and it claimed that the cancers were more aggressive in Graves' patients. I discussed my experience with this rare combination. My 5 cases were not more aggressive than the typical papillary cancer. No one of the experts present had more than one or two cases to talk about.Prior studies have not always agreed with the more aggressive concept.

What can you do to make sure your Graves' patient does not harbor a rare cancer as well?
Any palpable nodule needs ultrasound, I/123 imaging for cold nodules, and possible FNA biopsy. Ultrasound will find any non-palpable significant nodules, and it can help guide the needle into the mass.Significant nodules would be hypoechoic, irregular borders, vascular, and micro-calcifications. If the biopsy is suspicious or positive for cancer, than surgery will be the ideal therapy for both diseases. A rare medical "two for one". After a 4-6 week course of anti-thyroid drug therapy total thyroidectomy needs to be done.


No comments: