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Thyroidectomy vs Active Surveillance for Subcentimeter Papillary Thyroid Cancers—The Cost Conundrum

Emad Kandil, MD, MBA1; Salem I. Noureldine, MD2; Ralph P. Tufano, MD, MBA2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana
2Division of Head and Neck Endocrine Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016;142(1):9-10. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2015.2852.
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This Viewpoint compares efficacy and cost of 2 forms of intervention in treating subcentimeter papillary thyroid cancer—thyroidectomy vs active surveillance.

The diagnosis of thyroid cancer is becoming prevalent in clinical practice. This trend largely stems from improved surveillance and diagnostic imaging capable of exposing subclinical thyroid cancers. In the United States, the incidence of thyroid cancer has increased from 4.9/100 000 in 1975 to 14.3/100 000 in 2009, making it one of the fastest growing cancers.1 It is projected that in 2019, the rate of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) will be 37/100 000 women, becoming the third most common cancer in women of all ages.2

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