Thyroid Cancer In Dogs Faqs
How fast does thyroid cancer spread in dogs?
Thyroid cancer has a fast rate of spread, with about 35 percent of dogs already having metastasis at the time of diagnosis.
What is the life expectancy of a dog with thyroid cancer?
Depending on the type of treatments used, life expectancy can range from six months to two years.
Papillary Thyroid Cancer: Who Gets It
Papillary thyroid cancer can occur in people of all ages from early childhood to advanced ages although it is most common in people between age 30 and 50. Papillary thyroid cancer affects women more commonly than men, and it is most common in young women. Thyroid cancer is now the fifth most common malignancy among women in the United States. Since it can occur at any age, everybody should be aware of any changes in their thyroid gland and make sure their doctor feels the thyroid gland when getting a routine check-up. For more details on who gets papillary thyroid cancer, the increasing incidence, and ages of patients affected, go to our page on the Incidence of Papillary Thyroid Cancer.
Thyroid Nodules Are Common But Usually Are Not Cancer
Your doctor may find a lump in your thyroid during a routine medical exam. A thyroid nodule is an abnormal growth of thyroid cells in the thyroid. Nodules may be solid or fluid-filled.
When a thyroid nodule is found, an ultrasound of the thyroid and a fine-needle aspiration biopsy are often done to check for signs of cancer. Blood tests to check thyroid hormone levels and for antithyroid antibodies in the blood may also be done to check for other types of thyroid disease.
Thyroid nodules usually don’t cause symptoms or need treatment. Sometimes the thyroid nodules become large enough that it is hard to swallow or breathe and more tests and treatment are needed. Only a small number of thyroid nodules are diagnosed as cancer.
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How Often Does Papillary Thyroid Cancer Metastasis
The majority of patients under 45 years of age who have differentiated thyroid cancer confined to the thyroid with lymph-node involvement have an excellent prognosis. The presence of distant metastases to the lungs at the time of initial diagnosis is not common and is reported to be between 3% and 15%.
Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: Who Gets It
Anaplastic thyroid cancer tends to occur later in life than the more common thyroid cancers and is very uncommonly diagnosed in younger adults. In fact, I have never seen one in a child. The peak age of discovery of anaplastic thyroid cancer is most common in individuals above 65 years of age. Anaplastic thyroid cancer affects men more commonly than women. Thyroid cancer is now the fifth most common malignancy among women in the United States. Since thyroid cancer can occur at any age, everybody should be aware of any changes in their thyroid gland and make sure their doctor feels the thyroid gland when getting a routine check up. For more details on who gets anaplastic thyroid cancer, the incidence, and ages of patients affected, go to our page on the Diagnosis of anaplastic thyroid cancer.
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Cancer May Spread From Where It Began To Other Parts Of The Body
When cancer spreads to another part of the body, it is called metastasis. Cancer cells break away from where they began and travel through the lymph system or blood.
- Lymph system. The cancer gets into the lymph system, travels through the lymph vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.
- Blood. The cancer gets into the blood, travels through the blood vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.
The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if thyroid cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are actually thyroid cancer cells. The disease is metastatic thyroid cancer, not lung cancer.
Impact Of The Site Of Metastasis At Presentation On Prognosis
A comparison between patients with distant metastasis at various sites is illustrated in Table 3. There was no significant difference in age and gender between the groups. However, a higher frequency of bone metastasis was observed in black adults while Asian/Pacific Islanders were more prone to brain metastasis . In patients with a single metastatic site, lung was the preferential site of distant metastasis in thyroid cancer patients, followed by bone metastasis . In contrast, the brain was more likely to present with concomitant metastatic sites, such as the lung and liver . Death was the highest in patients with brain metastasis , followed by and liver , lung , and bone metastases. In contrast, mortality was reported in 26.9% of patients with distant LN metastasis . In metastatic patients, thyroid cancer-specific death accounted for 73.2%. Mortality due to non-cancer causes was reported in 19.8% mainly due to respiratory disorders , heart diseases , and septicemia .
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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.
Genetic Testing For Men And Fmtc
Genetic testing is now the mainstay in the diagnosis of the FMTC syndromes. RET proto-oncogene mutations have been discovered in each of the MTC syndromes. The RET proto-oncogene is a receptor tyrosine kinase whose exact function and role in these syndromes has not been elucidated. Patients with MEN 2A have germline RET mutations resulting in substitutions of conserved cysteine residues in exons 10 and 11. All patients with MEN 2B have a germline mutation resulting in a threonine-for-methionine substitution in codon 918 of exon 16. Mutations are described in exons 13 and 14 in patients with FMTC.
Genetic screening with sensitive PCR assays for germline RET mutations is routinely performed in at-risk patients. Children of parents known to have MEN or FMTC are tested for RET mutations to guide therapy and future genetic counseling. In addition, patients presenting with sporadic MTC should undergo RET mutational analysis to rule out new spontaneous germline mutations, which should prompt the testing of offspring for similar mutations.
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Management Of Thyroid Cancer
Malignant diagnoses require surgical intervention. Papillary thyroid carcinoma and medullary thyroid carcinoma are often positively identified on the basis of FNAB results alone. Cervical metastases discovered preoperatively or intraoperatively should be removed by means of en bloc lymphatic dissection of the respective cervical compartment while sparing the nonlymphatic structures.
Patients with follicular neoplasm, as determined with FNAB results, should undergo surgery for thyroid lobectomy for tissue diagnosis. The extent of surgical therapy for well-differentiated neoplasms is controversial. Primary treatment for papillary and follicular carcinoma is surgical excision whenever possible. Total thyroidectomy has been the mainstay for treating well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Modifications to total thyroidectomy include subtotal thyroidectomy to reduce the risk of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury and hypoparathyroidism.
A 2015 consensus statement from the American Thyroid Association on the management of patients with differentiated thyroid cancer who have recurrent/persistent nodal disease stated the following :
HÃ¼rthle cell carcinomas
Medullary thyroid carcinomas and familialmedullary thyroid carcinomas
Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, primary thyroid lymphoma, thyroid sarcoma
The treatment for thyroid sarcomas is total thyroidectomy. Radiation therapy may be used in an adjunctive setting.
Treatment Of Advanced Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer that spreads outside the neck area is rare but can be a serious problem. Surgery and radioactive iodine remain the best way to treat such cancers as long as these treatments continue to work. However, for more advanced cancers, or when radioactive iodine therapy is no longer effective, other forms of treatment are needed.
Medications have now been approved for the treatment of advanced thyroid cancer. These drugs rarely cure advanced cancers that have spread widely throughout the body, but they can slow down or partially reverse the growth of the cancer. These treatments are usually given by an oncologist and often require care at a regional or university medical center. These agents can also be used to change a tumor that stopped responding to radioactive iodine to respond to this treatment again. This is called redifferentiation therapy.
External beam radiation directs precisely focused X-rays to areas that need to be treated. This may be tumor that has recurred locally in the neck or spread to bones or other organs. This can kill or slow the growth of those tumors.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer often presents as a lump or nodule in the thyroid and usually does not cause any other symptoms . Blood tests generally do not help to find thyroid cancer and thyroid blood tests such as TSH are usually normal, even when a cancer is present. Neck examination by your doctor is a common way in which thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer are found. Often, thyroid nodules are discovered incidentally on imaging tests like CT scans and neck ultrasounds done for completely unrelated reasons. You may have found a thyroid nodule by noticing a lump in your neck while looking in a mirror, buttoning your collar, or fastening a necklace. Rarely, thyroid cancers and nodules may cause symptoms. You may complain of pain in the neck, jaw, or ear. If a nodule is large enough to compress your windpipe or esophagus, it may cause difficulty with breathing, swallowing, or cause a tickle in the throat sensation. Even less commonly, you may develop hoarseness if a thyroid cancer invades the nerve that controls your vocal cords.
Cancers arising in thyroid nodules generally do not cause symptoms, and thyroid function tests are typically normal even when you have cancer. The best way to find a thyroid nodule is to make sure that your doctor examines your neck as part of your periodic check-up.
Papillary Thyroid Cancer Quick Facts:
- Peak onset ages 30 through 50
- Females more common than males by 3 to 1 ratio
- Prognosis directly related to tumor size
- Accounts for 85% of thyroid cancers
- Can be caused by radiation or x-ray exposure
- Spread to lymph nodes of the neck present in up to 50% of cases
- Distant spread is very rare
- Overall cure rate very high
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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.
What Is Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Papillary thyroid cancer begins in the follicular cells in your thyroid that produce thyroglobulin . Its the most common type of thyroid cancer.
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of your neck under your skin. Its a part of your endocrine system and controls many of your bodys important functions by producing and releasing certain hormones.
PTC tends to grow very slowly and usually develops in only one lobe of your thyroid gland.
There are several subtypes of papillary thyroid cancers. Of these, the follicular subtype is the most common. Other subtypes of papillary cancer arent as common and tend to grow and spread more quickly. They include:
Papillary thyroid cancer is also called papillary thyroid carcinoma.
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What Is A Thyroid Tumor
A thyroid tumor is a mass of cancerous cells in the thyroid gland. Thyroid tumors in dogs can be benign or malignant. Benign thyroid tumors are called adenomas, while the malignant are adenocarcinomas.
Benign thyroid tumors in dogs grow large and are usually functional, meaning they produce thyroid hormones which leads to a condition known as hyperthyroidism.
Malignant tumors are smaller and non-functional but spread to other body parts . They also damage the normal thyroid tissue, causing hypothyroidism.
In dogs, most thyroid tumors are malignant and result in metastatic disease. Based on VCA Hospitals, thyroid adenomas are rare and account for only 10% of all thyroid tumor cases.
Recovery And Management Of Thyroid Cancer In Dogs
While there are risks with any anesthetic and surgical procedure, most dogs do well post-operatively after thyroidectomies and have no major complications. Recovery may require overnight monitoring in the hospital, with a next day discharge, in most cases.
Prognosis and life expectancy depend on the size and spread of the tumor. For thyroid tumors that are completely surgically removed, the median survival time can be upwards of two years. For tumors that require followup with chemotherapy and/or radiation, the prognosis is still good, with a median survival time ranging from 18 to 24 months. For dogs undergoing radiation and chemotherapy without surgical intervention, prognosis is poor, with an average survival time of between 6 and 12 months depending on the metastasis.
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Does Thyroid Cancer Metastasized
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.
How To Get Help
Treatment for metastatic cancer may involve a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapies. The goal of treatment is to control the cancer and alleviate symptoms, although in some cases a cure may be possible.
Living with metastatic cancer can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. It is important for individuals with metastatic cancer to work closely with their healthcare team and to seek support from friends, family, and support groups. It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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Evaluation And Management Of The Solitary Thyroid Nodule
The key to the workup of the solitary thyroid nodule is to differentiate malignant from benign disease and, thus, to determine which patients require intervention and which patients may be monitored serially. History taking, physical examination, laboratory evaluation, and fine-needle aspiration biopsy are the mainstays in the evaluation of thyroid nodules. Imaging studies can be adjuncts in select cases.
A 2015 consensus statement from the American Thyroid Association on preoperative imaging for thyroid cancer surgery stated the following :
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 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!
Positron Emission Tomography /ct Scan
This shows a PET/CT scan of a patient with recurrent papillary thyroid cancer.
PET/CT scan of a patient with recurrent papillary thyroid cancer. The patient had already undergone three surgeries to treat cancer. The bright orange circle on the left is a lymph node where the papillary thyroid cancer has spread. The black area to the left of the bright spot is the lungs. This view of thyroid cancer with metastatic lymph node involvement is located next to the trachea, which should only be removed by a highly skilled surgeon. It will take about 15 minutes with a nearly 98% chance that it will never recur.
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