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Physicians Update SUMMER 201 4 Surgery Issue Thyroid Nodules p. 1 Obesity p. 3 Trauma Care p. 6 Pancreatic Cancer p. 8 Colorectal Surgery p. 10 ENDOCRINOLOGY Molecular Profiling Can Help Inform Surgical Decisions for Patients with Thyroid Nodules By using molecular-profiling techniques, UCLA endocrine surgeons are bringing a new level of certainty to a significant percentage of individuals with indeterminate thyroid nodules — neither clearly malignant nor clearly benign. Protocols for assessing genetic markers in biopsy results with suspicious cytology, while continuously being refined, are nonetheless eliminating unnecessary surgeries in many cases. Thyroid nodules are extremely common — as many as half of middle-aged adults have at least one. Although the vast majority are benign, when thyroid nodules are found (often incidentally in the doctor’s office or on imaging) they require diagnostic testing, given that 4 percent of them are malignant. The incidence of thyroid cancer is triple what it was in the 1970s. continued on p. 4