2. Department of Pathology University for Development Studies, Tamale PO Box 77, 183, Tamale -Ghana.
There is paucity of published data on medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) as a single entity in Ghana and Africa as a whole despite its first description six decades ago. The aim of this study was to determine the proportions of thyroid malignancies diagnosed in the department of pathology of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) between 1994-2013 that were MTCs and the clinicopathological characteristics by a retrospective histopathological study.
Material and methods: This was a retrospective study in KBTH from 1994 to 2013.
Results: During the period under review, MTC was found to be the third common thyroid malignancy, accounting for 10.0% of all the cases. The mean age of patient was 38.4 years (SD±16.0) with half (50.0%) being younger than 40 years of age. The male to female ratio was 1:1. The modal age of the males was 40-49 years (27.3%), but that for the females was 20-29 years (36.4%). Anterior neck swelling was the commonest presentation of MTCs (95.5%), particularly diffuse gland involvement (45.5%). Males with MTC presented relatively early within two years (50.0%), compared to females who commonly presented after 5 years (37.5%) with the disease. AMTCs were commonly diagnosed in lobectomy specimens (44.4%). Two of the females had neck dissection (18.2%). Extra-glandular spread at diagnosis was found in lymph nodes (22.7%), lymphovascular space (13.6%) and neck muscles (13.6%).
Conclusion: Medullary thyroid cancer was found to be the third common thyroid malignancy at KBTH with no significant sex differences in the clinical presentation. Patients commonly presented with large anterior neck swelling of variable duration. Approximately 59.1% of the patients had organ confirmed disease at diagnosis.
Keywords: Medullary thyroid cancer, neuroendocrine, Ghana, extra-glandular spread, anterior neck swelling