Article ID: EJ15-0635
A questionnaire administered in 2009 found that members of the Korean Association of Thyroid-Endocrine Surgeons (KATES) favored more aggressive treatment of well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma (WDTC) than physicians from other countries. This study assessed the changes in practical management of WDTC in Korea from the previous survey. Questionnaires were sent by e-mail to KATES members. A total of 101 members completed the questionnaire. Their responses were compared with response for the 2009 survey. Of the respondents, 53.5% and 80.2% indicated that they would perform fine-needle aspiration cytology on nodules that were <0.5 cm and 0.5-1.0 cm in diameter, respectively. If the cytology was positive, a large number of respondents favored surgical treatment, regardless of tumor size. Compared with the 2009 survey, a slightly higher percentage favored observation for patients with tumors that were <0.5 cm in diameter, and a larger percentage recommended less-than-total thyroidectomy for patients with T1 cancers. Respondents in 2014 favored aggressive lymph node dissection less, irrespective of tumor size, preferring short-term treatment with thyroid stimulating hormone suppressors. The percentage preferring postoperative high-dose radioactive iodine therapy slightly increased, whereas the percentage favoring external irradiation decreased, in 2014 compared with 2009. The management of Korean patients with WDTC changed from 2009 to 2014. In 2009, Korean respondents favored more aggressive treatment of WDTC compared with respondents from other countries. In 2014, however, Korean respondents favored a more conservative approach, especially in patients with microcarcinomas.