Favorable Surgical Results in 433 Elderly Patients with Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Uruno, Takashi; Miyauchi, Akira; Shimizu, Kazuo; Tomoda, Chisato; Takamura, Yuuki; Ito, Yasuhiro; Miya, Akihiro; Kobayashi, Kaoru; Matsuzuka, Fumio; Amino, Nobuyuki; Kuma, Kanji
November 2005
World Journal of Surgery;Nov2005, Vol. 29 Issue 11, p1497
Academic Journal
Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has a good prognosis among patients younger than 45 years old, but the prognosis in elder is worse and treatment strategy is not well established. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical features and outcomes of 433 patients with PTC aged 70 years or older. The patients consisted of three groups: group A (n = 327); patients receiving surgical treatment, group B (n = 51); patients with microcancer (maximal diameter, ≤ 1.0 cm) who did not undergo surgical treatment, group C (n = 55); patients in whom surgery was contraindicated due to age, high surgical risk or complication by other illnesses. In group A, the mean tumor size was 2.6 ± 1.5 cm, and 218 patients (66.7%) had pathologically confirmed lymph node metastasis; 110 patients (33.6%) had extrathyroidal invasion. The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates (OSR) in group A were 97.2% and 85%, respectively, which was significantly higher than the 5-year OSR in group C (62.6%). The 5- and 10-year disease-specific survival rates (DSSR) in group A were 98.5% and 91.3%, respectively, which was also significantly higher than the 5-year DSSR in group C (81.8%). Although the patients in group B did not receive any treatment, none of them demonstrated cause-specific death or progression of disease. Papillary thyroid cancer in elderly patients, except for microcancers, may be biologically aggressive. Thus surgery is recommended for these patients, if their general status is judged able to tolerate the stress of anesthesia and surgery.


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