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Clinical Challenges
April 2001

Papillary Cancer of the Thyroid in Low-Risk Patients: The Perspective of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(4):458-461. doi:10.1001/archotol.127.4.458

A 20-year-old woman presents with 1-cm, palpable thyroid nodule. Findings of histologic evaluation demonstrate papillary carcinoma with no extracapsular extension. The best treatment for this patient would be a thyroid lobectomy (hemithyroidectomy).

The medical literature contains more than 30 000 references to management of thyroid disorders. Many of these publications discuss controversies that have existed for years. The scenario presented here represents one such controversy that will often stir heated debate regarding the inability, thus far, to prospectively determine a clear-cut superiority of one treatment option over another. This article attempts to provide the reader with key elements to both sides of the debate as well as the consensus opinion as viewed by members of the clinical services most actively involved in the care of these patients (Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, General Surgery, and Endocrinology) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

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