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Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma

What is papillary thyroid microcarcinoma?

Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma is a type of cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. It is part of a group of cancers called papillary thyroid carcinoma. It is called a “microcarcinoma” because it measures less than 1.0 cm in size. This diagnosis is made when the tumour is found when examining the thyroid gland for another condition.

The thyroid gland

The thyroid is a U-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. The normal thyroid gland is divided into right and left lobes that are connected in the middle by the isthmus. Some people also have another small lobe above the isthmus called the pyramidal lobe.

Anatomy thyroid gland

The thyroid gland makes thyroid hormone. Most of the cells in the thyroid gland are called follicular cells. The follicular cells connect together to form small round structures called follicles. Thyroid hormone is stored in a material called colloid which fills the center of follicles.

by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC (updated September 20, 2021)
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