Diagnosis of thyroid tumours in Świętokrzyskie Province in Poland with respect to the regulations provided in the new oncological package
1 Świętokrzyskie Oncology Centre, Kielce, Poland
2 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Kielce, Poland
Correspondence: Łukasz Fortuna, Świętokrzyskie Oncology Centre, Artwińskiego 3, 25-437 Kielce, Poland, tel.: +48 41 367 47 08, e-mail: lukasz.fortuna@onkol.kielce.pl
Pediatr Med Rodz 2017, 13 (4), p. 491–497
DOI: 10.15557/PiMR.2017.0052
ABSTRACT

Introduction: The new regulations called the “oncological package” were implemented in Poland on 1 January 2015. The issuance of the Diagnosis and Oncological Treatment Card initiates a path of rapid diagnosis and therapy. The new regulations also encompass the diagnostic process in suspected thyroid carcinoma, which is the leading endocrine gland cancer. In 2014, 162 new cases of thyroid cancer were noted in Świętokrzyskie Province in Poland. Before the rapid diagnostic procedure is implemented, the risk of malignancy must be evaluated, which is of particular importance in the case of suspected carcinoma of the thyroid gland due to the great prevalence of benign thyroid nodules. The risk of thyroid carcinoma is evaluated by the analysis of the medical history and proper interpretation of ultrasonographic images of focal lesions. Aim: The aim of this study was to analyse the knowledge of primary care physicians about clinical and ultrasonographic features of high-risk thyroid tumours and to assess whether the Diagnosis and Oncological Treatment Card is used correctly for initiation of a rapid diagnostic process in patients with suspected thyroid carcinoma. Material and methods: The analysis involved the results of thyroid ultrasound scans and medical history data collected during the first visit from all patients who, in the period from 1 January 2015 to 30 September 2016, were referred to the Department of Endocrinology of Świętokrzyskie Oncology Centre with the Diagnosis and Oncological Treatment Card issued by a primary care physician due to a suspicion of thyroid cancer. The authors evaluated the presence of clinical or ultrasonographic features of high-risk thyroid tumours. The analysis involved records of 95 patients. Results: None of the patients presented clinical features of thyroid carcinoma. The phenotype of focal lesions represented high-risk features in merely 21% of the patients; the most common ultrasonographic feature was hypoechogenicity (70% of patients). Oncological diagnostic procedures (fine-needle aspiration biopsy) confirmed a malignancy in only 1 case; it was a patient with high-risk ultrasonographic features (1/20 patients – 5%). None of the patients with a benign phenotype was diagnosed with thyroid carcinoma. Conclusions: 1) The Diagnosis and Oncological Treatment Card is not used properly by primary care physicians in the diagnosis of thyroid lesions. 2) When issuing the Diagnosis and Oncological Treatment Card, primary care physicians do not use the knowledge about clinical or ultrasonographic features that suggest a high risk of malignancy.

Keywords: oncological diagnosis, oncological package, Diagnosis and Oncological Treatment Card, thyroid cancer