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Invited Commentary
January 31, 2019

Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma—If It Is Such a Good Cancer, Why Operate?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019;145(4):371-372. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.4260

A patient who was referred to our clinic for a second opinion on management of a small localized papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) asked, “Why should I have surgery to remove my thyroid if it’s such a good cancer?” At the time of diagnosis, her health care practitioner told her she had a good cancer and recommended thyroidectomy. This question directly relates to the work by Davies et al1 in this issue of JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery. However, it is important to first clarify some misconceptions about the experiences of patients with thyroid cancer.

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