oa Journal of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes in South Africa - Papillary thyroid cancer : sporadic or inherited? : case study

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1608-9677
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1009



Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is one of the most common thyroid malignancies, with an increase in incidence rates over the past few decades. Although the exact cause of thyroid cancer in most patients is still unclear, the possibility of genetic predisposition to PTC cannot be overlooked. Here, we report a case study of PTC, in which the family was extensively affected, with each family member diagnosed with either benign or malignant thyroid neoplasms, or functional thyroid disorder.

A 57-year-old white female with a past medical history of hypothyroidism, and a significant family history of multiple thyroid cancers, was found to have new onset thyroid nodules during a routine screening ultrasound. Fine needle aspiration revealed suspicious papillary carcinoma (follicular variant). The patient underwent total thyroidectomy.
The histology report revealed total colloid nodules in the right lobe with focal calcification, lymphocytic thyroiditis, and two foci of papillary microcarcinoma. The patient subsequently underwent radioactive iodine ablation therapy, along with pilocarpine and thyrogen injection.
This case study illustrates the need for awareness of the possibility of genetic predisposition to, as well female preponderance of, familial PTC.

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