Male patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) usually have aggressive clinico-pathological features, including large tumor size and lymph node metastasis; however, it is unclear whether male sex increases the risk of recurrence. Here, we evaluated the effect of sex on disease-free survival (DFS) of patients with PTC. Between 2009 and 2016, 1252 patients who underwent total thyroidectomy for PTC were enrolled; 157 (12.5%) were male and 1095 (87.5%) were female. With a mean follow-up of 6.6 years, five-year DFS rates were comparable between male and female patients (94.9% vs. 96.9%; p = 0.616) after adjusting for potential confounders. Multivariate Cox regression analysis also demonstrated that male sex was not an independent risk factor for recurrence (HR 1.982, 95% CI 0.831–4.726). Subgroup analyses further indicated that both male and female sex—in terms of their associations with five-year DFS—were comparable with other variables, including age < 55 years (94.5% vs. 97.3%; p = 0.520) and tumor size > 1 cm (91.9% vs. 97.0%; p = 0.243). In conclusion, male sex was not associated with the risk of recurrence in patients with PTC. Male patients do not always require aggressive treatment and follow-up approaches.
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- papillary thyroid carcinoma