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Follicular Cell Carcinoma

Follicular cell carcinoma is the second most common type of thyroid cancer, accounting for approximately 10 percent to 13 percent of well-differentiated thyroid cancers.

It is more common in elderly females. This type of cancer usually begins as a slow-growing neck nodule, and 20 percent to 50 percent of this type of cancer may metastasize to the lungs or bones.

Diagnosis and treatment 

As with all thyroid nodules, the diagnosis for a follicular carcinoma involves a thyroid hormone level test, an ultrasound and fine needle aspiration.

When an FNA reveals follicular neoplasm, thyroid lobectomy is required to determine whether the nodule is a benign adenoma or a follicular cell carcinoma.

The treatment for follicular cell carcinoma involves either a thyroid lobectomy or a total thyroidectomy, depending on the size and involvement of the tumor. The overall five-year survival for follicular cell carcinoma is 70 percent to 85 percent.

Spread of the carcinoma beyond the thyroid capsule and invasion of blood vessels are associated with more aggressive tumors.

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