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Diagnosis, treatment, prognostic factors and long-term outcome in papillary thyroid carcinoma.

The papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most frequent endocrine cancer and it is the most common thyroid cancer (85-95%). Potential risk factors for the incidence of the PTC include radiation exposure, iodine deficiency, family history of thyroid cancer. The PTC is usually indolent and the prognosis is favourable, with a 10 year survival generally reported to exceed 90%. The palpation and growth of thyroid nodules are the more frequent clinical manifestations of the PTC which can be evaluated by physical examination, neck ultrasound and fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). The therapeutic management of PTC includes surgical treatment combined with 131I therapy and life long TSH suppressive thyroid hormone replacement. The external beam radiation can be taken into account in select aggressive tumours. Nevertheless the good prognosis of the PTC, the prevalence of persistence or recurrent disease is not trans-curable. The biomolecular studies can permit to individuate the more aggressive PTC subtypes. A more significant attention of the clinical examination, US and FNAC to the thyroid nodular disease will be able to guarantee a more precocious diagnosis and a radical surgical treatment.

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