Changes in Demographics, and Clinicopathological Characteristics of Thyroid Cancer in Algeria Over the Last Two Decades

  • Background : We analyzed data from a population-based cohort study to describe demographics and clinicopathogical characteristics of patients with thyroid cancer in the province of Oran, Algeria, between 1993 and 2013. 

    Methods : Medical records and pathologic reports of 182 569 patients who had undergone thyroid surgery were reviewed. Changes in demographics and clinicopathological features were described.

    Results : During the study period thyroid cancer was diagnosed in 1 248 (86,5%) women and 195 (23,4%) men. Mean age at diagnosis was 43,7±15.2 years in women and 48,1±15.9 years in men. In 80,8% of cases, thyroid cancer was diagnosed after Neck Check Self-Exams. Nodules were present in 90,1% of thyroid cancer cases. The most common histopathological subtypes were papillary (58.3%), follicular (29.7%), anaplastic (4,1%), and medullay (0,8%) carcinomas. Benign diseases associated with thyroid cancer were solitary cold nodule (49,2%) and goiter (43,9%). A significant trend towards increased frequency of papillary carcinoma and decreased frequency of follicular and anaplastic carcinomas was observed over the study period. The frequency of microcarcinomas significantly increased, while that of tumors > 40 mm decreased. The frequency of thyroid cancers with capsular effraction and angioinvasion decreased over time. These features of tumor aggressiveness were present in 29,2% and 23,9% of microcarcinomas.

    Conclusion : Algeria is a country with moderate iodine deficiency, and endemic goiter. The trend towards increased papillary-to-follicular carcinomas ratio observed in our study, and starting in 2001, may be due, at least partially, to the national programme of salt iodine supplementation, introduced in the 1970s. 

 

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