Thyroid cancers amongst goiter population in a Nigerian tertiary hospital: surgical and radiographic perspective

  • G.A Rahman
  • A.Y Abdulkadir
  • K.T Braimoh
  • A Inikori


Background: Goiters are commonly benign, but cases of malignancy can develop. Thyroid cancer is known to be commoner in whites than in blacks and in females than in males. Bone metastasis is a common occurrence and may be the initial manifestation in a small subset. We hope to determine the incidence and the cervical radiographic patterns of thyroid cancer amongst goiter population in Nigeria. Method: Surgical, histological and radiographic findings in patients with goiter who had thyroidectomy in our hospital from 1999 to 2006 were reviewed. Those with proven cancer were analyzed for sex, age and radiographic changes using SPSS 11.0 for windows. Results Thirteen (8.2%) cases out of the 160 goiters were malignant and distant metastases were present in 1.3% at presentation. The histological sub-types of malignant goiters were follicular (5.0%), papillary (1.9%) and poorly differentiated or anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (1.3%). As much as 30% of thyroid cancers demonstrated calcification on plain neck radiograph, which were commonly scattered or diffused.
Conclusions: Carcinomatous goiters occurred in 9.3% of the goiter population studied with predominance of follicular variant. Surgery remains the main stay but was inappropriate in about 1.2 % of population with goitre. Aside evidence of bony destruction, TC should be suspected in goiters with mixed (diffused or scattered) calcifications.

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eISSN: 2667-0526
print ISSN: 1115-2613