The thyroid gland, or simply the thyroid, in vertebrate anatomy, is one of the largest endocrine glands and consists of two connected lobes. The thyroid gland is found in the neck, below the thyroid cartilage. The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones.
Thyroid carcinoma is a relatively rare tumour, but represents the most frequent form of endocrine malignancy. Thyroid nodules are present in 4% to 7% of population by neck palpation (the incidence increases with increasing age) and 30 to 50% by ultrasonography. It is believed that fewer than 5% of these nodules are malignant and require surgical treatment, and that extensive evaluation for surgical excision is not practical. However, Stoffer et al. reported that 13% of the glands resected in thyroid operation for any reason contained carcinoma. In our study we found that 21.1% patients with presumably benign nodular thyroid disease had malignancy on histopathology. The incidence was higher than those reported in other studies. However, this could be attributed with the fact that in developing countries patients seek medical attention late and a nodule harbouring malignancy in MNG cannot be distinguished clinically or radiologically in order to obtain a FNAB from it. Localizing the target nodule may require multiple aspirations. This makes the early detection of cancer in MNG a very difficult task.
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Last date updated on October, 2020