From 1950 through 1976, 304 patients were treated for carcinoma of the thyroid at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. This series clearly indicates that papillary cancer of the thyroid can be fatal, even after a five-year survival, even as long as 25 years later. This study also shows that a patient with solid cell or undifferentiated carcinoma of the thyroid might live as long as-17 years after operation. Twenty-three patients in this series had had previous operations, 13 of which were for malignancy of. the thyroid. Of these 13 patients, four died of carcinoma of the thyroid. Three had had. lobectomy, two for papillary carcinoma and one for follicular carcinoma, and one had had subtotal, thyroidectomy for undifferentiated carcinoma. Early and complete resection of thyroid carcinoma is indicated because (1) this disease can be fatal, even after long survivals, (2) multiple foci of malignancy may be present in 27% of cases, (3) the disease can recur in the contralateral lobe after previous lobectomy, (4) death can occur even after secondary operation, and (5) careful surgical treatment can yield an uneventful total thyroidectomy.
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