Dr. Decosse: During the past ten to 20 years, there has been a notable evolution in the diagnosis and management of the more differentiated forms of carcinoma of the thyroid. No single contribution stands out as having redirected the course of therapy of patients with these tumors, but, from many different studies, gradual trends have emerged.
It now seems accepted by all that patients with papillary and follicular carcinoma of the thyroid may indeed die of cancer if they are observed long enough. Therefore, prompt and aggressive management is worthwhile. Patients may ultimately die of residual or recurrent papillary carcinoma, and, in some instances, these more favorable tumors will undergo metaplasia to lethal spindle cell and anaplastic carcinoma.
Despite unanimity about the risks of these more differentiated forms of thyroid cancer, there is considerable lack of uniformity regarding diagnosis and management. It is the purpose of this panel to establish