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Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

  • Robert C. SmallridgeEmail author
  • Keith C. Bible
Chapter

Abstract

Thyroid cancers span a wide clinical spectrum. Differentiated tumors, comprising over 90% of thyroid malignancies, have an overall mortality of only about 5%. In stark contrast, anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), representing <2% of cases, is almost uniformly fatal. ATC is so aggressive that all patients are TNM Stage IV, even in the case of small lesions initially confined to the thyroid gland. Although most thyroid cancers are indolent, allowing initial evaluation to proceed over weeks or even months without adversely affecting patient outcomes, ATC requires expeditious diagnosis, staging, and treatment. It is thus critical that providers likely to first encounter ATC patients (primary care, endocrinologists, surgeons, nuclear medicine physicians) become astute at quickly recognizing the imminently threatening nature of the illness, and respond rapidly if ATC is in the differential diagnosis. Because of its deadly, rapidly progressive, and rare nature, referral to a medical center with an experienced multidisciplinary team should be made if at all possible in order to expedite optimal evaluation, counseling, and management.

Keywords

Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma Staging Diagnosis Treatment 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and MetabolismMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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