Some good news on the thyroid tumour front


Well-known member
Jun 4, 2010
An international study has just confirmed what many pathologists have long suspected; one type of follicular variant papillary carcinoma of thyroid (EFVPTC) is less aggressive than was thought and, in the authors' opinion, should no longer be called carcinoma. The authors suggest a similarly long-winded term to replace the old one - NIFTP or non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features. Over the past thirty years, this tumour type has seen a massive increase in incidence because of more radiology imaging of the gland and subsequent biopsies but overall mortality has not increased. Many people live for decades unaware they have such a tumour in their thyroid and die of other causes.

JAMA Network | JAMA Oncology | Nomenclature Revision for Encapsulated Follicular Variant of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma:  A Paradigm Shift to Reduce Overtreatment of Indolent Tumors

One message is that the term 'cancer' can be highly misleading because it is so diverse. Some types of neoplastic disease are much less dangerous than diabetes or high blood pressure.

The usual caveats apply. The findings will have to be confirmed and it will be a while before any official change happens. Some thyroid tumours are highly malignant.
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