Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma of the Thyroid Gland: A Case Report and Suggested Surgical Approach

Steele, Scott R.; Porter, Clifford; Azarow, Kenneth S.; Royer, Michael; Brown, Tommy A.
October 2001
American Surgeon;Oct2001, Vol. 67 Issue 10, p979
Academic Journal
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) of the thyroid gland is a rare neoplasm with 40 cases reported in the world literature to date. Controversy surrounds the treatment of this rare neoplasm. It has been described as a low-grade indolent tumor that rarely metastasizes and only recurs locally without morbidity. Suggested treatment has consisted of a lobectomy or subtotal thyroidectomy. We report a case of a 63-year-old woman with a 15-year history of a multinodular goiter with a dominant left lobe nodule. Fine-needle aspiration was inconclusive. The patient opted for a total thyroidectomy. Final pathology yielded a diagnosis of mucoepidermoid carcinoma. We propose that despite its low-grade appearance the morbidity and mortality associated with its ability to locally recur and metastasize justify the need for more aggressive surgical therapy.


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