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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
April 2003

Pathology Quiz Case 2—Diagnosis

Author Affiliations
 

FREDERIC B.ASKINMDWILLIAM H.WESTRAMD

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(4):488. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.4.486

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma is rare, representing fewer than 5% of thyroid neoplasms,1 but it accounts for nearly half of all cases of mortality associated with thyroid cancer. It is most commonly found in the elderly, with a mean age at presentation of 70 years, and shows a female predominance (female-male ratio, 1.5:1.0).2 The tumor usually presents with rapid growth and extensive local invasion of extrathyroidal structures. Approximately 50% of patients with ATC have a history of nodular goiter or differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma is regarded as a uniformly fatal malignant neoplasm, and the postdiagnosis survival time is usually less than 6 months.3

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