Thyroidectomy remains the mainstay of treatment for thyroid carcinoma. The extent of surgical resection, however, remains controversial as most patients will have excellent long-term prognosis and because some of the standard staging and prognostic information are not available at the time of surgical resection. The different staging and risk group definitions for thyroid carcinoma are not superior to the Tumor-Node-Metastasis classification of the American Joint Commission in Cancer (AJCC), which is universally available and accepted and should be used to report treatment outcomes. Recent advances in the molecular pathogenesis of thyroid malignancy will help identify high-risk patients who would benefit from aggressive surgical resection and adjuvant treatment.
Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, 800 Rose Street, Lexington, KY 40536-0084, USA.