Background: Cancer registries are useful to determine the magnitude of the problem, but not enough to provide meaningful variables for clinicians or to serve as a source of hypotheses for research. Our objective was to identify the clinical characteristics of thyroid cancer patients, initial therapeutic approach and costs associated with the management of the disease.
Methods: A descriptive, observational case series study with thyroid cancer patients was conducted (2013 - 2015) in 10 cities in Colombia. A web-based tool (www.colombiatiroides.com) was developed to include patient data (55 variables, including demographic, histopathological, paraclinical and therapeutic characteristics).
Results: Information of 1,096 patients with thyroid cancer was included (Mean age: 45.5 years; 86.3% women). 93.6% of cases were papillary carcinoma. Association between tumour size and capsular, extracapsular, lymphovascular, central and lateral lymph node involvement was documented (p=0.000). Patients under 45 years showed greater central (p=0.000) and lateral (p=0.003) lymph node invasion while in patients over 45, multifocal tumours (p=0.032) and extracapsular infiltration (p=0.036) were more frequent. The approximate direct cost/patient/year was COP$2,532,687 (USD 982).
Conclusions: This registry shows that papillary thyroid carcinoma accounts for 93.6% of all types of thyroid cancer, a higher percentage than reported in other series in the literature; 89% of patients were classified as high and intermediate risk of recurrence following initial cancer therapy. In patients under 45 years, the disease tends to disseminate via the lymphatic system, but in patients over 45 local extensions are more frequent. Finally, approximate disease cost was estimated at USD 982/patient/year.
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