May 17, 2010

IT'S JUST COSMETIC SURGERY:

People with common thyroid cancers may not need immediate treatment, study says (Thomas H. Maugh II, May 17, 2010, LA Times)

Autopsy studies also show that small thyroid cancers are present in most people who died from other causes, a finding similar to the observation of small prostate tumors in most men who die of other causes. Such findings suggest that most thyroid tumors (and prostate tumors) are a benign side effect of aging that can be safely ignored unless they suddenly start growing. Dr. Louise Davies and Dr. H. Gilbert Welch of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Hanover, N.H., and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River, Vt., compiled data from a national registry on 35,653 patients who were diagnosed with such small tumors, called papillary thyroid cancer, between 1973 and 2005; 440 of the patients did not undergo immediate treatment, which generally involves surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland.

Davies and Welch reported in the journal Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery that, after six years of follow-up, 141 of the treated patients, less than half a percent, had died, compared to six of the untreated patients, or 1.4%.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 17, 2010 7:43 PM
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