What Causes Thyroid Cancer In Children
The vast majority of thyroid cancers in children have no known cause. However, there are some known risk factors for developing thyroid cancer, including radiation exposure and certain genetic conditions.
What causes some children to develop thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer is an area of active research in our Thyroid Center.
Who Is Most Likely To Get Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is more common in women than in men, and more so during their reproductive years. The highest number of women diagnosed with thyroid cancer are between the ages of 44 and 49 years. Men are more likely to develop thyroid cancer at an older age. For example between the ages of 80 to 84 years.
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Thyroid Cancer
Most thyroid cancers are found when patients see a doctor because of new neck lumps . Sometimes doctors find neck lumps during a physical exam. Yet other times thyroid cancer may be found during an ultrasound test for other health problems.
If signs are pointing to thyroid cancer, more tests will be done.
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Papillary Thyroid Cancer Overview
Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common of all thyroid cancers . It can also be called papillary thyroid carcinoma since carcinoma implies a certain type of cancer. Since thyroid cancer is relatively common, and papillary thyroid cancer is the most common form of thyroid cancer, it is very likely that you will know somebody that had or has this form of cancer. Papillary thyroid cancer typically starts within the thyroid as growth, or bump on the thyroid that grows out of the otherwise normal thyroid tissue. Papillary thyroid cancer is clearly increasing in its incidence both in the United States and globally–it is one of the few cancers that are becoming more common, but we don’t know why this is happening. Our Introduction to Thyroid Cancer page has a great general overview of all types of thyroid cancer–read it if you haven’t already!
What Is The Last Stage Of Thyroid Cancer
Stage IVB The tumor has grown toward your spine or into nearby large blood vessels, like the carotid arteries. These carry blood to your brain, face, and neck. It might have also spread to your lymph nodes. Stage IVC The cancer has spread beyond the thyroid, and to distant sites of the body.13 Oct 2019
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Papillary Or Follicular Thyroid Cancer
- Stage I — The tumor can be any size. It may have spread to nearby tissues or nearby lymph nodes. But it hasnât spread to other parts of the body.
- Stage II — The tumor is any size. Cancer may have spread to your lymph nodes. It also has spread to other parts of your body, like your lungs or bones.
Survival For All Types And Stages Of Thyroid Cancer
These statistics are for people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in England between 2013 and 2017. There are some differences between men and women:
1 year survival
- 90 out of every 100 men survive thyroid cancer for at least 1 year after diagnosis
- More than 90 out of every 100 women survive thyroid cancer for at least 1 year after diagnosis
5 year survival
- Almost 85 out of every 100 men survive thyroid cancer for at least 5 years
- 90 out of every 100 women survive thyroid cancer for at least 5 years after diagnosis
10 year survival
- Around 85 out of every 100 people survive their cancer for 10 years or more after diagnosis
Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019Office for National Statistics
These figures are for net survival of people diagnosed between 2013 and 2017.
Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account that some people would have died from other causes if they had not had cancer.
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When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you have symptoms of thyroid cancer. The symptoms may be caused by less serious conditions, such as an enlarged thyroid , so it’s important to get them checked.
A GP will examine your neck and can organise a blood test to check how well your thyroid is working.
If they think you could have cancer or they’re not sure what’s causing your symptoms, you’ll be referred to a hospital specialist for more tests.
Find out more about how thyroid cancer is diagnosed.
Can A Benign Thyroid Tumor Become Malignant
Nodules that start as benign rarely turn cancerous. However, your endocrinologist will likely perform occasional biopsies to rule out the possibility. If your nodule is hot, or overproducing thyroid hormones, your endocrinologist will probably use radioactive iodine or surgery to eliminate the nodule.
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Signs Vs Symptoms Of Cancer
Signs and symptoms of disease can be two different things:
- A sign is something that can be observed by another person, such as a change in skin color or wheezing.
- A symptom is something you feel, such as fatigue or pain, that isnt obvious to others.
The nature of cancer signs and symptoms differ greatly, depending on where the cancer is located.
Bladder cancer, for instance, causes blood in the urine, while brain cancer triggers terrible headaches.
What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Thyroid Cancer
Eight out of 10 people who have thyroid cancer develop the papillary type. Papillary thyroid cancer has a five-year survival rate of almost 100% when the cancer is in the gland . Even when the cancer spreads , the survival rate is close to 80%. This rate means that, on average, youre about 80% as likely to live for at least five years after diagnosis as someone who doesnt have metastatic papillary thyroid cancer.
Five-year survival rates for other thyroid cancer types include:
- Follicular: Close to 100% for localized around 63% for metastasized.
- Medullary: Close to 100% for localized around 40% for metastasized.
- Anaplastic: Close to 31% for localized 4% for metastasized.
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What Affects Your Prognosis
Stage IV thyroid cancer is cancer that has spread from your thyroid gland to other parts of your neck, lymph nodes, or distant areas of your body like your lungs or bones. Several things have an impact on your prognosis, including:
Your type of thyroid cancer. There are four main kinds:
Each type acts differently. Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common kind. It has the best outlook because it grows slowly. Even when this cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, it responds well to treatment.
Follicular and medullary thyroid cancers are less common than papillary cancer, but their prognosis is good overall. Anaplastic is the fastest-growing type of thyroid cancer, and it doesn’t respond well to treatment.
Your age. People with papillary or follicular cancers who are younger than 40 may have a better outlook than those who are older.
Your health. When you start out in good health, you usually can handle treatment and its side effects better.
How far the cancer has spread. Cancers that have spread just outside the thyroid gland have a better prognosis than those that have spread to distant parts of the body.
Whether you have multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B . People who have this inherited disease have greater odds of getting medullary thyroid cancer. They are also often diagnosed at a late stage, when the cancer is harder to treat.
Tests For Thyroid Cancer
Your doctor may do some tests to check for thyroid cancer:
- Ultrasound to get detailed information about your thyroid including the size of any thyroid nodule and whether it is full of fluid or solid.
- Blood tests to check your hormone levels and function of the thyroid. Calcitonin levels may also be checked.
- Biopsy if you have a thyroid nodule or enlarged lymph node in your neck, you may need a fine needle aspiration biopsy, to collect a sample of cells and check whether it is cancerous.
Your doctor might ask you to have further tests. These can include:
- CT scans uses x-rays to take pictures of the inside of your body and then compiles them into one detailed, cross-sectional picture.
- PET scans uses an injection of a glucose solution to help cancer cells show up more brightly on the scan.
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What Are Possible Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy
Radioactive iodine :Patients generally tolerate this treatment well. Short-term side effects include tenderness and swelling around the thyroid, nausea, swelling of the salivary glands, dry mouth, and sometimes changes in how things taste. Some patients find they are unable to make tears, leading to dry eyes and problems with contact lenses. Less frequent side effects include a lower sperm count in men and irregular periods in women. Women should avoid becoming pregnant for 6-12 months after treatment. Patients who have had I-131 treatment may have a slightly higher risk of developing leukemia in the future. This is extremely rare.
External beam therapy : After several EBT sessions, patients may become tired. Getting adequate rest is important. Doctors usually advise patients to try to stay as active as they can. Patients may have skin changes or irritation in the neck area where the radiation has passed through the skin. Other side effects include trouble swallowing, dry mouth, and hoarseness. Most of these side effects are easy to manage and go away once treatment ends.
Thyroid Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid is a gland at the base of the throat near the trachea . It is shaped like a butterfly, with a right lobe and a left lobe. The isthmus, a thin piece of tissue, connects the two lobes. A healthy thyroid is a little larger than a quarter. It usually cannot be felt through the skin.
The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to help make several hormones. Thyroid hormones do the following:
- Control heart rate, body temperature, and how quickly food is changed into energy .
- Control the amount of calcium in the blood.
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When Does Metastatic Thyroid Cancer Show Symptoms
Metastatic thyroid cancer, also known as stage 4 thyroid cancer, refers to cancer that has spread from the thyroid gland to distant areas of the body. This is the most advanced stage of thyroid cancer. At this late stage, many symptoms are likely to be present. In fact, symptoms typically appear at an earlier stage and can often be detected before the thyroid cancer has metastasized.
After Surgery: Radioactive Iodine And Long
Almost all people who had surgery for papillary thyroid cancer will need to see a doctor for many years to have exams and certain blood tests to make sure the cancer has been cured, and to detect any return of the cancer as soon as possible should it return. Many people with papillary thyroid cancer will need to take radioactive iodine to help cure the cancer. We have several very important pages on these topics.
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Papillary And Follicular Thyroid Cancer Stage Iv
If you are at stage IV, it means the cancer has spread. Your doctor assigns the letters âA,â âBâ and âCâ to show how far.
- Stage IVA — The cancer has spread beyond your thyroid. It now is under your skin, or it affects your larynx, esophagus or trachea. A smaller tumor in more distant lymph nodes is also considered stage IVA.
- Stage IVB — The tumor has grown toward your spine or into nearby large blood vessels, like the carotid arteries. These carry blood to your brain, face, and neck. It might have also spread to your lymph nodes.
- Stage IVC — The cancer has spread beyond the thyroid, and to distant sites of the body. It may be in your lungs, bones, and lymph nodes.
Survival For Different Types Of Thyroid Cancer
The survival statistics below are from a large European study. They are based on people treated in the UK and Ireland between 2000 and 2007. Treatments improve over time, so people treated now may have a better outlook.
With thyroid cancer, the most important factor that affects survival is the type and stage of thyroid cancer you have.
Survival of 86,690 patients with thyroid cancer: A population-based study in 29 European countries from EUROCARE-5
L Dal Maso and others
European Journal of Cancer Volume 77, pages 140 – 152
These statistics are for relative survival. Relative survival takes into account that some people will die of causes other than cancer. This gives a more accurate picture of cancer survival.
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How Is Thyroid Cancer Managed Or Treated
Treatments for thyroid cancer depend on the tumor size and whether the cancer has spread. Treatments include:
- Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for thyroid cancer. Depending on the tumors size and location, your surgeon may remove part of the thyroid gland or all of the gland . Your surgeon also removes any nearby lymph nodes where cancer cells have spread.
- Radioiodine therapy: With radioiodine therapy, you swallow a pill or liquid containing a higher dose of radioactive iodine than whats used in a diagnostic radioiodine scan. The radioiodine shrinks and destroys the diseased thyroid gland along with cancer cells. Dont be alarmed this treatment is very safe. Your thyroid gland absorbs almost all of the radioiodine. The rest of your body has minimal radiation exposure.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation kills cancer cells and stops them from growing. External radiation therapy uses a machine to deliver strong beams of energy directly to the tumor site. Internal radiation therapy involves placing radioactive seeds in or around the tumor.
- Chemotherapy: Intravenous or oral chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells and stops cancer growth. Very few patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer will ever need chemotherapy.
- Hormone therapy: This treatment blocks the release of hormones that can cause cancer to spread or come back.
Is Thyroid Cancer Easy To Detect
The actual diagnosis of thyroid cancer is made with a biopsy, in which cells from the suspicious area are removed and looked at in the lab. If your doctor thinks a biopsy is needed, the simplest way to find out if a thyroid lump or nodule is cancerous is with a fine needle aspiration of the thyroid nodule.12 May 2020
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What Type Of Thyroid Cancer Is Most Lethal
Anaplastic carcinoma is the most dangerous form of thyroid cancer. It is rare, and spreads quickly. Follicular tumor is more likely to come back and spread. Medullary carcinomaMedullary carcinomaMedullary carcinoma of the thyroid is cancer of the thyroid gland that starts in cells that release a hormone called calcitonin. These cells are called C cells. The thyroid gland is located inside the front of your lower neck.https://medlineplus.gov ency articleThyroid cancer medullary carcinoma MedlinePlus is a cancer of non-thyroid hormone-producing cells that are normally present in the thyroid gland.
How Serious Is My Cancer
If you have thyroid cancer, the doctor will want to find out how far it has spread. This is called staging. You may have heard other people say that their cancer was stage 1 or stage 2. Your doctor will want to find out the stage of your cancer to help decide what type of treatment is best for you.
The stage describes the spread of the cancer through the thyroid gland. It also tells if the cancer has spread to other organs of your body that are close by or far away.
Your cancer can be stage 1, 2, 3, or 4. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, like stage 4, means a more serious cancer that has spread outside of the thyroid gland. Be sure to ask the doctor about the cancer stage and what it means for you.
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What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms Of Metastatic Thyroid Cancer
As with other types of cancer, thyroid cancer that is detected in its early stages is more easily treatable and more likely to lead to a positive outcome and quality of life. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with thyroid cancer, it is important to consult a physician as soon as possible to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Moffitt Cancer Center offers comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and supportive care services for individuals with thyroid cancer. Whether you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer or are experiencing metastatic thyroid cancer symptoms, you can find all of the services you need under a single roof at Moffitt.
Call or fill out a new patient registration form online to learn more about thyroid cancer treatment services at Moffitt. We welcome patients with or without a referral.
Outlook For Thyroid Cancer
Around 9 in every 10 people are alive 5 years after a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Many of these are cured and will have a normal lifespan.
But the outlook varies depending on the type of thyroid cancer and how early it was diagnosed. At present the outlook is:
- more than 9 in 10 people with papillary carcinoma live at least 5 years after diagnosis
- more than 9 in 10 people with follicular carcinoma live at least 5 years after diagnosis
- more than 7 in 10 men, and around 9 in 10 women with medullary thyroid carcinoma live at least 5 years after diagnosis
- around 1 in 10 people with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma live at least 5 years after diagnosis
Up to 1 in 4 people treated for thyroid cancer are later diagnosed with cancer in another part of the body, such as the lungs or bones, but cancer can often be treated again if this happens.
Page last reviewed: 28 August 2019 Next review due: 28 August 2022
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