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Managing the Solitary Thyroid Nodule: Role of Needle Biopsy

MANFRED BLUM, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(3):375-377. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-87-3-375
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Thyroid malignancies are rare, whereas benign nodular disease is common and does not require surgical management unless there is obstruction of the thoracic inlet. The problem is to identify those patients likely to have a thyroid malignancy. Fortunately, there is adequate time to assess the likelihood of malignancy because thyroid cancers are very slow growing and are generally associated with minimal morbidity and long survival. Furthermore, because these tumors may be responsive to thyrotropin (TSH), suppressive therapy with thyroid hormone has been shown to be beneficial in some patients. Thus, a few clinicians manage all thyroid nodules medically, maintaining that

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