Chest wall metastasis in postoperative thyroid cancer: a case report

J Int Med Res. 2019 Aug;47(8):4039-4042. doi: 10.1177/0300060519862455. Epub 2019 Aug 2.


Thyroid cancer is common in China. Thyroid adenocarcinoma metastases can be local or distal metastasis. Local metastasis presents as a hard and fixed lymph node in the neck, while distant metastases are found in the lung, skull, vertebrae, and pelvis. However, thyroid follicular carcinomas are mostly observed in hematogenous metastases. The thyroid adenocarcinoma and follicular carcinoma of the thyroid gland are often misdiagnosed. Here, we report the case of a 53-year-old female patient. More than 2 years after her initial diagnosis, her left chest wall was physically examined. The results revealed a progressive enlargement that had a hard quality, poor activity, unclear boundary, pressure pain, and percussion pain. Thyroid follicular cell carcinoma was subsequently diagnosed and treated surgically. The thyroid carcinoma had multiple bone metastases, and the thyroid follicular carcinoma had spread to the chest wall through the blood vessels. Thus, preoperative procedures and follow-up should be strengthened because early pathological thyroid follicular carcinoma and thyroid adenoma can easily be misdiagnosed. Pathologic consultation and follow-ups should be strengthened to prevent misdiagnosis.

Keywords: Thyroid carcinoma; adenoma; bone metastasis; follicular carcinoma; metastasis; misdiagnosis; thoracic wall.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prognosis
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Thoracic Wall / pathology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Thyroidectomy / adverse effects*