Journal List > J Korean Thyroid Assoc > v.8(1) > 1056586

J Korean Thyroid Assoc. 2015 May;8(1):36-49. Korean.
Published online May 29, 2015.
Copyright © 2015. the Korean Thyroid Association. All rights reserved.
History of Korean Thyroid Association and Recent Debates on Diagnosis and Treatment of Thyroid Cancer in Korea
Kwang Woo Lee
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Correspondence: Kwang Woo Lee, MD, PhD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine,National Medical Center, 245 Euljiro, jung-gu, Seoul 100-799, Korea. Tel: 82-2-2260-7164, Fax: 82-2-2276-2167, Email:
Received November 08, 2014; Revised December 05, 2014; Accepted December 09, 2014.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is an undeniable fact that the establishment of the Korean Thyroid Association (KTA) in 2008 will reinforce growing thyroidology in Korea. It is worthwhile to recall the histories behind the foundation of the KTA and to remember the efforts of the founders. Since 2005, there has been a massive increase in thyroid cancer incidence in Korea, which is much higher than in other countries. A large majority of cases fall into papillary microcarcinoma (less than 1 cm). Much debate has been sparked since early 2014 through mass media as well as among medical professionals on the issues of early screening and detection of small thyroid cancer, overdiagnosis and overtreatment of thyroid cancer. Based on the author's past 30 years of clinical practice in endocrinology with a focus on thyroid disease, this article presents my opinion on such debate and provides thoughts on future directions. This article only represents the author's personal, possibly limited, perspective thought. For this reason, readers are recommended to use their own judgement in weighing the opinions.

Keywords: Korean Thyroid Association (KTA); Thyroid cancer; Diagnosis; Surgery; Overtreatment


Fig. 1
The 2nd Asia Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA) Congress, 1982.
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Fig. 2
The 7th Thyroid Cancer Symposium, 1982.
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Fig. 3
Management guidelines for patients with thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer, Korean Endocrine Society, 2007.
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Fig. 4
Professor Chang Soon Koh.
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Fig. 5
Korean Thyroid Association meeting 2008.
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Fig. 6
The list of contributors for foundation of Korean Thyroid Association.
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Fig. 7
Various dose of levothyroxine.
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This is a review article for 7th Bumsan Academic Awards.

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