The profile of thyroid cancer in patients undergoing thyroidectomy at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital
Background: The histological type of thyroid cancer in well-resourced countries is predominantly papillary. Follicular carcinoma is predisposed by iodine deficiency that was present the Black population of South Africa until salt iodination in 1995. The aim of this study was to analyse the profile of thyroid cancer in Black South Africans from January 2001 to December 2017 and to identify any temporal changes in thyroid cancer histological subtypes since salt iodination.
Method: Histopathological reports of patients who underwent thyroidectomy for cancer at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa between January 2001 and December 2017 were retrospectively assessed. Data captured included name, age, gender, race, the date when the specimen was sent and the detailed histopathological report.
Results: Of the 143 thyroidectomies performed for malignancy, papillary thyroid cancer was the predominant type (65%) with a papillary to follicular thyroid cancer ratio of 4:1. Follicular, medullary and anaplastic cancers were 16.8%, 9.8% and 2.8% respectively. The reports were incomplete in 5 cases and there were 3 non-epithelial neoplasms.
Conclusion: There is a gradual temporal increase in the frequency of resected papillary cancer over a 16 year period while follicular has remained static. These changes may be attributable to better salt iodination.