Feature Article

Thyroid cancer: how to achieve optimal patient outcomes




Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy, with a rising global incidence. A structured evaluation of thyroid nodules is recommended for accurate diagnosis and management. A multidisciplinary approach with shared care between specialists and GPs ensures optimal care.

Key Points

  • The incidence of thyroid cancer is increasing worldwide.
  • Structured assessment of a thyroid nodule consists of exclusion of hyperthyroidism, followed by neck ultrasonography and cytological examination of nodules that have a suspicious ultrasonographic appearance.
  • Surgery (lobectomy or total thyroidectomy) is the first-line treatment of highly suspected or cytologically confirmed thyroid cancer.
  • Adjuvant therapy, including radioactive iodine and thyroid-stimulating hormone suppression with levothyroxine therapy, is determined by evidence-based risk criteria.
  • Dynamic staging and routine surveillance with thyroid ultrasound and measurement of thyroglobulin levels are important in the subsequent management of thyroid cancer.
  • Optimal care involves multidisciplinary specialist management and a fully informed GP.

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