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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2003 October-December;16(5-6):173-8

language: English

Cancer of the thyroid in patients over the age of fifty. Surgical and prognostic aspect

Falvo L., Berni A., Catania A., D'Andrea V., De Stefano M., De Antoni E.


Aim. The authors performed a retrospective investigation of patients over the age of 50, in order to detect any peculiarities of cancer of the thyroid possibly affecting surgical treatment and whether age itself represented an independent prognostic factor.
Methods. A total of 152 patients were examined at the Department of Surgical Science of ''La Sapienza'' University of Rome with a minimum follow- up of 10 years. The 152 subjects recruited were divided into 3 age groups: from 51 to 60 years, (74 patients); from 61 to 70 years, (57 patients); from 71 to 80 years, (21 patients).
Results. Relating the different histologic types to age group, there was found to be a lower incidence of well-differentiated carcinoma and a relative increase in the epidermoid and undifferentiated forms in older patients. In the 51-60 age group 80% of the patients were at stages I and II, while in the 71-80 age group 56.2% of cases were at stages III and IV.
Conclusion. In the elderly patient undifferentiated, anaplastic or epidermoid forms and those with a higher biological aggressiveness are more frequently found. We believe that prompt diagnosis would present the surgeon with neoplasms at an early stage and with less aggressive histotypes, thus ensuring greater scope for radical surgical treatment and appreciably enhancing prognosis.

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