Where Do These Numbers Come From
The American Cancer Society relies on information from the SEER* database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.
The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for thyroid cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:
- Localized: There is no sign the cancer has spread outside of the thyroid.
- Regional: The cancer has spread outside of the thyroid to nearby structures.
- Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the bones.
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There Are Different Types Of Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer can be described as either:
- Differentiated thyroid cancer, which includes well-differentiatedtumors, poorly differentiated tumors, and undifferentiated tumors or
Well-differentiated tumors can be treated and can usually be cured.
Poorly differentiated and undifferentiated tumors are less common. These tumors grow and spread quickly and have a poorer chance of recovery. Patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer should have molecular testing for a mutation in the BRAFgene.
Medullary thyroid cancer is a neuroendocrine tumor that develops in C cells of the thyroid. The C cells make a hormone that helps maintain a healthy level of calcium in the blood.
See the PDQ summary on Childhood Thyroid Cancer Treatment for information about childhood thyroid cancer.
What Is The Treatment For Thyroid Cancer
Radioactive iodine therapy . Thyroid cells and most differentiated thyroid cancers absorb iodine so radioactive iodine can be used to eliminate all remaining normal thyroid tissue and potentially destroy residual cancerous thyroid tissue after thyroidectomy . The procedure to eliminate residual thyroid tissue is called radioactive iodine ablation. Since most other tissues in the body do not efficiently absorb or concentrate iodine, radioactive iodine used during the ablation procedure usually has little or no effect on tissues outside of the thyroid. However, in some patients who receive larger doses of radioactive iodine for treatment of thyroid cancer metastases, radioactive iodine can affect the glands that produce saliva and result in a dry mouth. If higher doses of radioactive iodine are necessary, there may also be a small risk of developing other cancers later in life. This risk is very small, and increases as the dose of radioactive iodine increases. The potential risks of treatment can be minimized by using the smallest dose possible. Balancing potential risks against the benefits of radioactive iodine therapy is an important discussion that you should have with your doctor if radioactive iodine therapy is recommended.
If your doctor recommends radioactive iodine therapy, your TSH level will need to be elevated prior to the treatment. This can be done in one of two ways.
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What Is The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroids job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.
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Surgery For Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Papillary thyroid cancer is treated with surgery. It is important to understand that the best chance of cure is to have an expert thyroid cancer surgeon from the beginning. A surgeon who performs surgery for papillary thyroid cancer on a daily basis has a higher cure rate than a surgeon who performs thyroid surgery several times per week, or does other types of thyroid surgery . Surgery for thyroid cancer has become very specialized, so it is important for you to be comfortable with your choice of surgeon.
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For Connecting And Sharing During A Cancer Journey
Anyone with cancer, their caregivers, families, and friends, can benefit from help and support. The American Cancer Society offers the Cancer Survivors Network , a safe place to connect with others who share similar interests and experiences. We also partner with CaringBridge, a free online tool that helps people dealing with illnesses like cancer stay in touch with their friends, family members, and support network by creating their own personal page where they share their journey and health updates.
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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What Will Happen After Treatment
Most people do very well after treatment, but you may need follow-up care for the rest of your life. This is because most thyroid cancers grow slowly and can come back even 10 to 20 years after treatment. Your cancer care team will tell you what tests you need and how often they should be done.
Be sure to go to all of these follow-up visits. You will have exams, blood tests, and maybe other tests to see if the cancer has come back. At first, your visits may be every 3 to 6 months. Then, the longer youre cancer-free, the less often the visits are needed.
Sometimes treatments may not cure your cancer. You many need to keep getting treatment and care. From time to time tests will be done to see how your treatment is working.
Having cancer and dealing with treatment can be hard, but it can also be a time to look at your life in new ways. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or talk to your cancer care team to find out what you can do to feel better.
You cant change the fact that you have cancer. What you can change is how you live the rest of your life.
Where Does Thyroid Cancer Usually Metastasize To
Most patients with thyroid cancer have the cancer contained in the thyroid at the time of diagnosis. About 30% will have metastatic cancer, with most having spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes in the neck and only 1-4% having spread of the cancer outside of the neck to other organs such as the lungs and bone.
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Stage 2 Prostate Cancer Treatment
For stage 2 prostate cancer, treatment depends on the patients symptoms, age and overall health. If the patient is older and isnt experiencing symptoms, doctors may simply keep an eye on how the tumor is doing and treat it if theres any drastic change. However, stage 2 cancers are more likely to spread without treatment than stage 1 cancers. Treatment options may include surgery, surgery followed by radiation, radiation only, or radiation with hormone therapy.
How Is Thyroid Cancer Treated
Treatment for thyroid cancer depends on many things, like your cancer stage, age, overall health, and testing results. Your treatment may include some or all the following:
- Clinical trials.
The goal of thyroid cancer surgery is to remove the tumor. There are a few ways to do so:
- Total thyroidectomy- The whole thyroid gland is removed.
- Near-total thyroidectomy Only a small part of thyroid tissue is left. The parathyroid glands are also left, which are attached to the thyroid.
- Lobectomy A single lobe of the thyroid gland is removed. In patients with small papillary thyroid cancers, a lobectomy may be used.
If the thyroid is not completely removed during surgery, there may be a risk of the cancer coming back in the part of the thyroid that is left. More surgery may be needed to remove the rest of the thyroid if it wasnt removed during the first surgery.
If your provider believes you may have thyroid cancer, you should also have an ultrasound of your lymph nodes done. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, your surgeon will also remove these lymph nodes during surgery. Depending on the staging of your cancer, you may need more treatment after surgery.
Supplemental thyroid hormone therapy
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T Categories For Follicular Thyroid Cancer
TX: Primary tumor cannot be assessed.
T0: No evidence of primary tumor.
T1: The tumor is 2 cm across or smaller and has not grown out of the thyroid.
- T1a: The tumor is 1 cm across or smaller and has not grown outside the thyroid.
- T1b: The tumor is larger than 1 cm but not larger than 2 cm across and has not grown outside of the thyroid.
T2: The tumor is more than 2 cm but not larger than 4 cm across and has not grown out of the thyroid.
T3: The tumor is larger than 4 cm across, or it has just begun to grow into nearby tissues outside the thyroid.
T4a: The tumor is any size and has grown extensively beyond the thyroid gland into nearby tissues of the neck, such as the larynx , trachea , esophagus , or the nerve to the larynx. This is also called moderately advanced disease.
T4b: The tumor is any size and has grown either back toward the spine or into nearby large blood vessels. This is also called very advanced disease.
Signs Of Thyroid Cancer Include A Swelling Or Lump In The Neck
Thyroid cancer may not cause early signs or symptoms. It is sometimes found during a routine physical exam. Signs or symptoms may occur as the tumor gets bigger. Other conditions may cause the same signs or symptoms. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
- A lump in the neck.
- Trouble breathing.
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What Kind Of Treatment Will I Need
There are many ways to treat thyroid cancer but surgery is the main treatment. The treatment plan thats best for you will depend on:
- The stage of the cancer
- The chance that a type of treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
- Other health problems you have
- Your feelings about the treatment and the side effects that come with it
Depending on the type and stage of your thyroid cancer, you may need more than 1 type of treatment.
What Is Staging For Cancer
Staging is the process of learning how much cancer is in your body and where it is. Tests like thyroid scan, thyroid ultrasound, fine-needle aspiration biopsy, CT, and MRI may be done to help stage your cancer. Your providers need to know about your cancer and your health so that they can plan the best treatment for you.
Cancer staging looks at the size of the tumor and where it is, and if it has spread to other organs. The staging system for thyroid cancer is called the TNM system. It has three parts:
- T-describes the size/location/extent of the “primary” tumor in the thyroid.
- N-describes if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
- M-describes if the cancer has spread to other organs .
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Where Can I Find Thyroid Cancer Support
Your biggest sources of support can be your friends and family. Consider taking a trusted friend or relative to your appointments to take notes and ask questions you might not think of right away.
Additionally, hospitals will often have information on support groups in your area both virtual and IRL . The doctor treating your cancer may also be able to suggest some of these.
The Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association has information and support for both newly diagnosed people and those who have been on their cancer journey for longer.
You can also visit and join the American Cancer Societys Cancer Survivors Network.
Recurrence Rates In Triple
Surgical removal of breast cancer may be done with lumpectomy , which is usually followed by radiation therapy, or with mastectomy . Mastectomy may or may not be followed by radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy is also given for TNBC. It may be given before surgery , after surgery, or both.
As TNBC is known to have a higher rate of recurrence, more aggressive surgical treatment might be preferred by some healthcare providers.
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How We Reviewed This Article:
- Esfandiari, N., Hughes, D., Yin, H., Banerjee, M., & Haymart, M. R. . The effect of extent of surgery and number of lymph node metastases on overall survival in patients with medullary thyroid cancer. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,99, 448-454
- Hong, W. K. & . Hait, W. N. . Cancer Medicine, Vol. 8. Shelton, CT.: PMPH-USA, Limited.
- How is thyroid cancer staged?
What Is Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. It happens when cells in the thyroid grow out of control and crowd out normal cells.
Thyroid cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body such as the lungs and the bone and grow there. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis. But the type of cancer is based on the type of cells it started from.
So even if thyroid cancer spreads to the lung , its still called thyroid cancer, not called lung cancer.
Ask your doctor to use this picture to show you where your cancer is.
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What About Other Treatments I Hear About
When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.
Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.
What Is Thyroid Cancer In Dogs
Thyroid cancer in dogs is a tumor that develops when the normal thyroid cells start to grow and reproduce abnormally, transforming into cancerous cells.
The thyroid gland lies along the dogs trachea , halfway down the neck. It consists of two lobes and makes thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones regulate many vital body functions.
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What Is The Thyroid Cancer Survival Rate
For people with differentiated thyroid cancer , age is the most important prognostic factor. If a patient is younger than 45, they are considered a Stage II and have an excellent prognosis .
For people with medullary thyroid cancer, age is not as important a predictor of outcome. In general, those with medullary thyroid cancer that has not spread beyond the thyroid , have a 95% 10-year survival. Patients with medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to the neck lymph nodes have a 10-year survival of 75%. For those patients with metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, the 10-year survival is 20 to 40%
For people with anaplastic thyroid cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate is around 5%.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is often prescribed after thyroid surgery to replace the hormones that are no longer being produced by your thyroid tissue. Depending on how much of your thyroid was taken out, you may have to take the medication most commonly levothyroxine for the rest of your life.
Thyroid hormone replacement can also help prevent the growth or recurrence of thyroid cancer. It does this by lowering your circulating level of the hormone TSH, which is secreted by your brains pituitary gland and tells your thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. High TSH levels can stimulate the growth of thyroid cancer cells. Higher doses of replacement thyroid hormone tell your body to make less TSH, slowing the growth of any thyroid cancer cells and lowering the odds of your cancer coming back.
It can take a few adjustments to find the correct dosage of thyroid hormone replacement. During this time, you may need to see the doctor every 6 to 8 weeks for a blood draw to determine if your levels are optimal.
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Papillary Cancer And Its Variants
Most cancers are treated with removal of the thyroid gland , although small tumors that have not spread outside the thyroid gland may be treated by just removing the side of the thyroid containing the tumor . If lymph nodes are enlarged or show signs of cancer spread, they will be removed as well.
In addition, recent studies have suggested that people with micro-papillary cancers may safely choose to be watched closely with routine ultrasounds rather than have immediate surgery.
Even if the lymph nodes arent enlarged, some doctors recommend central compartment neck dissection along with removal of the thyroid. Although this operation has not been shown to improve cancer survival, it might lower the risk of cancer coming back in the neck area. Because removing the lymph nodes allows them to be checked for cancer, this surgery also makes it easier to accurately stage the cancer. If cancer has spread to other neck lymph nodes, a modified radical neck dissection is often done.
Treatment after surgery depends on the stage of the cancer:
People who have had a thyroidectomy will need to take daily thyroid hormone pills. If RAI treatment is planned, the start of thyroid hormone therapy may be delayed until the treatment is finished .