Thyroid neoplasm or thyroid cancer usually refers to any of four kinds of malignant tumors of the thyroid gland: papillary, follicular, medullary or anaplastic. Most patients are 25 to 65 years of age when first diagnosed; women are more affected than men. Papillary and follicular tumors are the most common. They grow slowly and may recur, but are generally not fatal in patients under 45 years of age. Medullary tumors have a good prognosis if restricted to the thyroid gland and a poorer prognosis if metastasis occurs. Anaplastic tumors are fast-growing and respond poorly to therapy.
Thyroid nodules are diagnosed by ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration (USG/FNA) or frequently by thyroidectomy (surgical removal and subsequent histological examination). As thyroid cancer can take up iodine, radioactive iodine is commonly used to treat thyroid carcinomas, followed by TSH suppression by high-dose thyroxine therapy.
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