Cancer has the ability to invade neighboring structures and spread to distant parts of the body. Well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma (the most common variety,) typically follows predictable patterns of spread with excellent chances for a cure. Papillary and Follicular variants of well-differentiated carcinoma have been described. Papillary Carcinoma can often be diagnosed after a fine needle aspiration. Follicular carcinoma, however, is very difficult to diagnose preoperatively. For this reason, thyroid surgery might be recommended after a fine needle which raises the possibility of a follicular neoplasm.
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