VOLUME 34 - NUMBER 1-2 - 2013

Actual status of preoperative diagnosis of thyroid cancer in Albania

  • Dracini Xh, Dibra A., Celiku E., Alimehmeti M., Kellici S., Paparista S., Gjergji D.
  • Clinical practice, 14-17
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  • Introduction. Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy and accounts for almost 1% of human cancer. It is well known that the majority of cases occur in women in the middle decades of life. Thyroid cancer is a relatively rare disease; on the other hand clinically apparent thyroid nodules are present in 4-7% of the adult population. Most thyroid nodules are not malignant, with reported malignancy rates from 3-12%. It is important for the surgeon to know beforehand the diagnosis of malignancy, in order to perform a more radical operation on the thyroid gland.

    Patients and Methods. In our study we have analyzed the preoperative clinical data of 84 patients operated in the First Clinic of General Surgery, UHC “Mother Theresa” in Tirana; all with a positive histopathologic diagnosis of thyroid cancer. The data comprised age, sex, age distribution, blood group, time-lapse from the first endocrinologic visit, clinical examination, signs and symptoms, imaging, functional tests, preoperative FNA, admission diagnosis, associated diseases and preoperative treatment.

    Results. From the study emerged that only 9,3% of these patients were diagnosed preoperatively as thyroid cancer. Another related problem is the low percentage of preoperative FNA – only 22%. Among the signs and symptoms related to thyroid cancer we found that 40 and 33% of these patient presented dyspnea and dysphagia, respectively. The physical examination revealed apparent nodular growth of the thyroid gland in 81% and nodular hard consistency in 79% of cases. The proper endocrinologist consultation lacked in 23% of cases.

    Conclusion. In our opinion, close collaboration between endocrinologists and surgeons in a multidisciplinary frame is the key to correct preoperative thyroid cancer diagnosis and optimal treatment.

  • KEY WORDS: Thyroid carcinoma - FNA - Papillary cancer - Solitary nodule.