Thyroid Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Total Versus Partial Thyroidectomy for Early-Stage Papillary Thyroid Cancer

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2020

According to a meta-analysis presented at the 2019 American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting (Abstract Poster 401) in Chicago and published in the journal Thyroid, patients with early-stage papillary thyroid cancer who undergo either total or partial thyroidectomy tend to experience significant survival benefits. “Overall long-term prognosis following surgery in early-stage thyroid cancer is excellent, with high survival rates,” noted Maaike van Gerwen, MD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and colleagues.

The study sought to compare survival outcomes between partial and total thyroidectomies based on 11 studies from 10 unique data sets registered in the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health PubMed database between January 1990 and April 2019. Among all referenced studies, 11,504 cases of total thyroidectomy and 7,279 cases of partial thyroidectomy were included.

Despite both groups seeing a decrease in survival at the 10-year mark, 5-year and 10-year survival rates remained high for each. At 5 years, the survival rate for patients undergoing total thyroidectomy was 98%, versus 96% for patients undergoing partial thyroidectomy; the 10-year survival rates were 95% and 87%, respectively.

Among patients with microcarcinomas, the 5-year survival rate was 98% in the total-thyroidectomy group and 97% in the partial-thyroidectomy group. At 10 years, the survival rate for each group had declined to 96% and 90%, respectively.

“Multifocality seems to affect survival and should be taken into account when choosing surgery type,” the investigators indicated.

Disclosure: Full disclosures of the study authors can be found at


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