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What Is The Survival Rate For Thyroid Cancer

Surgery For Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer : What is the prognosis and survival rate for patients with 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.

Papillary Thyroid Cancer: What About Lymph Nodes

We have lymph nodes all over our body that are made up of groups of infection-fighting and cancer-fighting immune cells. We all have had “swollen glands” in our neck when we had a sore throat or tonsils. These same glands that get swollen when we have a neck infection can help fight cancer by preventing the cancer cells from spreading from the thyroid to the rest of the body. It is common for papillary thyroid cancer to spread into the lymph nodes of the neck before the cancer is discovered and diagnosed. Again, since there usually aren’t any symptoms, the cancer grows slowly for years and has time to spread into the lymph nodes, which are doing their job of capturing the cancerous cells before they can spread further. Thus, cancer that has spread into the neck lymph nodes is common with papillary thyroid cancer and may occur in as many as 40 percent of patients with small papillary cancers. In patients with larger papillary thyroid cancers, lymph node spread within the neck lymph nodes may occur in up to 75 percent of cases.

Medullary Thyroid Cancer Survival Rate

Only 4% of thyroid cancers are medullary thyroid cancer. Compared to papillary and follicular cancers, medullary thyroid cancer can be hard to find. It is more likely to have spread at the time of diagnosis.

The 5-year survival rates for medullary thyroid cancer are as follows:

  • Localized: nearly 100%
  • Distant: 39%

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How Common Is Thyroid Cancer

The American Cancer Societys most recent estimates for thyroid cancer in the United States for 2021 are:

  • About 44,280 new cases of thyroid cancer
  • About 2,200 deaths from thyroid cancer

The death rate for thyroid cancer increased slightly from 2009 to 2018 but appears to have stabilized in recent years. Statistics on survival rates for thyroid cancer are discussed in Survival Rates for Thyroid Cancer.

Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. And women are 3 times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men.

Until recently, thyroid cancer was the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US, largely due to increased detection. Much of this rise appears to be the result of the use of more sensitive diagnostic procedures, such as CT or MRI scans , which can detect incidental small thyroid nodules that might not otherwise have been found in the past.

Follicular Thyroid Cancer Conclusion

9/11 WTC Thyroid Cancer Victims Entitled to Compensation

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about follicular thyroid cancer, including which treatments are an option for you. Be sure to keep track of all your follicular thyroid cancer symptoms so you can discuss them with your doctor.


  • What you need to know about thyroid cancer. National Cancer Institute Web site. October 26, 2007. Accessed April 30, 2010.
    • Follicular thyroid cancer. New York Thyroid Center Web site. Accessed April 30, 2010.

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    What Kind Of Long

    In addition to the usual cancer monitoring, patients should receive an annual chest x-ray as well as blood checks for calcitonin and carcinoembryonic antigen levels. Serum calcitonin is very useful in the follow up of medullary thyroid cancer because no other cells of the body make this hormone. A high serum calcitonin level that had previously been low following total thyroidectomy is indicative of recurrence.

    Carcinoembryonic antigen is a protein that is usually found in the blood at a very low level but might rise in certain cancers, such as medullary thyroid cancer. There is no direct relationship between serum calcitonin levels and extent of medullary thyroid cancer. However, trending serum calcitonin and CEA levels can be a useful tool for doctors to consider in determining the pace of change of a patients medullary cancer.

    Under the best circumstances, medullary thyroid cancer surgery will remove all of the thyroid and all lymph nodes in the neck that harbor metastatic spread. In this case, post-operative calcitonin levels will go to zero. This is often not the case, and calcitonin levels frequently remain elevated, but less than pre-operatively.

    We want to acknowledge and thank James Norman, MD, who wrote the original content on this topic for EndocrineWeb.

    • Types of thyroid cancer. National Cancer Institute Web site. Accessed February 24, 2012.

    What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor

    If you have thyroid cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:

    • Why did I get thyroid cancer?
    • What type of thyroid cancer do I have?
    • Has the cancer spread outside of the thyroid gland?
    • What is the best treatment for this type of thyroid cancer?
    • What are the treatment risks and side effects?
    • Will I need thyroid replacement hormone therapy?
    • Is my family at risk for developing this type of thyroid cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
    • Can I get thyroid cancer again?
    • Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
    • What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
    • Should I look out for signs of complications?

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Receiving a cancer diagnosis is unsettling, regardless of the type. Fortunately, most thyroid cancers respond extremely well to treatment. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for the type of thyroid cancer you have. After treatment, you may need to take synthetic thyroid hormones for life. These hormones support vital body functions. They usually dont cause any significant side effects, but youll have regular checkups to monitor your health.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/13/2020.


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    Survival Stratified To Different Risk Factors

    Details of the survival ratios stratified according to different known risk factors are given in . There was a statistically significant reduction in relative survival, and consequently in life expectancy, in patients with follicular thyroid carcinoma, patients with extensive extrathyroidal invasion, patients with lymph node metastases in the lateral compartment, and patients with distant metastases. Furthermore, there was a trend toward a loss of life expectancy in patients with less than radical local resection, but the limited number of patients in the analysis causes such a wide margin of error that a statistically significantly lower relative survival is not reached. Interestingly, patients with only central compartment lymph node metastases had a normal life expectancy.

    Survival For Different Types Of Thyroid Cancer

    New drug shows improvement in survival of advanced 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 Long Can You Live With Stage Iv Thyroid Cancer

  • How Long Can You Live With Stage IV Thyroid Cancer? Center
  • Thyroid cancer is a highly treatable cancer except for a certain type of cancer . The chances of recovery increase when cancer is diagnosed at its earlier stages. At stage IV, cancer has reached an advanced stage. This means that the tumor has spread to other organs in the neck, lymph nodes or distant organs of the body such as the lungs, liver etc. and hence becomes difficult to treat. How long you can live with this stage depends on your overall health and the type of thyroid cancer you have.

    There are four types of thyroid cancer.

  • Papillary
  • Medullary
  • Anaplastic
  • Among all these types, papillary thyroid cancer is the most common type of thyroid cancer. It grows slowly and responds well to therapy despite its spread to the lymph nodes.

    Follicular and medullary thyroid cancers are the less common types of thyroid cancer. However, they also respond well to cancer treatments.

    Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the least common type of thyroid cancer but the fastest to grow among all four types. It doesn’t respond well to treatments.

    Other factors that influence your chances of survival with thyroid cancer include

    The Second Most Common Type Of Thyroid Cancer

    Follicular thyroid cancer is the second most common type of thyroid cancer . This article will focus on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for follicular thyroid cancer. You can read our Introduction to Thyroid Cancer article for an overview of the various types of thyroid cancer.Learn more about thyroid cancer in our Patients’ Guide to Thyroid Cancer. It covers diagnosis and treatments for all types of thryoid cancer, including follicular thyroid cancer.

    About 15% of all thyroid cancer cases are follicular thyroid cancer.1 Follicular carcinoma is considered more malignant than papillary carcinoma.

    But what are some common follicular thyroid cancer symptoms, and how is follicular thyroid cancer diagnosed? Follicular thyroid cancer occurs in a slightly older age group than papillary thyroid cancer and is also less common in children. In contrast to papillary cancer, it occurs only rarely after radiation therapy.

    Mortality is related to the degree of vascular invasion. Age is a very important factor in terms of prognosis. Patients older than 40 years old have a more aggressive disease and typically the tumor does not concentrate iodine as well as in younger patients. Vascular invasion is characteristic for follicular carcinoma and therefore distant metastasis is more common.

    With follicular thyroid cancer, lung, bone, brain, liver, bladder, and skin are potential sites of distant spread. Lymph node involvement is far less common than in papillary carcinoma.

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    What Is The Latest Research On Thyroid Cancer

    Research continues regarding the best treatment for the different types of thyroid cancers. New drugs are being developed that specifically target the thyroid cancer cells by attacking specific genes or proteins.

    MTC research and treatments include developing anti-cancer antibodies and attaching them to radioactive iodine to be injected into the body so that the combination molecule is taken up by the thyroid gland and then specifically attaches to and destroys cancer cells.

    Clinical trials continue to enroll patients with many diseases, including thyroid cancer. If appropriate, your health care professional may be a resource in finding a clinical trial that may be beneficial. Clinical trials that are enrolling patients can be found at the U.S. National Cancer Institute web site .

    Prognosis In Thyroid Cancer As Diverse As The Disease

    Thyroid Cancer Stage 1 Survival Rate

    Christin Melton, ELS, CMPPSpecial Reports

    With appropriate treatment, individuals with thyroid cancer have good odds for survivalâthe 5-year survival rate is 98%. Many factors influence the risk of survival after thyroid cancer is diagnosed.

    Ezra E. W. Cohen, MD

    Factors in Survival

    With appropriate treatment, individuals with thyroid cancer have good odds for survivalâthe 5-year survival rate is 98%. Many factors influence the risk of survival after thyroid cancer is diagnosed.

    âHistology is really critical,â said Ezra E. W. Cohen, MD, professor of medicine, University of California San Diego, and associate director for translational science, Moores Cancer Center, San Diego.

    âWe know that papillary thyroid cancer at diagnosis does the best, with a cure rate upwards of 90%, followed by follicular cancer and some rarer variants. At the bottom of the list is anaplastic thyroid carcinoma , which is almost universally fatal but is fortunately the rarest form of thyroid cancer we see,â Cohen said.

    Papillary carcinoma is the most common type of thyroid cancer, accounting for 80% of cases, and can be relatively indolent. More than 95% of people with this histology survive at least 10 years.1The proportion of thyroid cancers identified as ATC varies globally, ranging from 1.3% in the US to 8% in the Netherlands. Median survival for patients with ATC is 5 months, and only 20% survive a year after diagnosis.2

    Rate of 5-Year Survival4

    Prognostic Factors and Treatment

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    Clinical And Pathological Characteristics

    The demographic data of the 23 included patients are presented in Tables 1,2. Among the 23 patients, 11 were men and 12 were women, with a median age of 58.3 years . A total of 19 patients had symptoms. Thirteen patients had a palpable mass, 4 had localised pain, and 2 had dyspnoea. Overall, 9 patients had distant metastasis .

    Table 1

    The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score was 0 in 14 patients , 1 in 4 patients , and 2 in 1 patient . At the time of diagnosis, 14 patients had stage IVB disease and 9 patients had stage IVC disease according to the AJCC 8th edition .

    Treatment characteristics are shown in Table 3. In total, 14 patients were treated with a combination of surgery and radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy. Only 5 patients were treated with surgery alone. Overall, 15 patients underwent R0 resection, 2 underwent R1 resection, and 2 underwent R2 resection.

    Table 3

    Statistics Of Thyroid Cancer Survival Rate

    We have collected this information from the National Cancer Institute which provides statistics of survival rates of different cancers. And SEER is a database which tracks the 5-year Relative Survival rate based on how bad cancer spread in our body.

    Here are some of the abbreviations you need to know before understanding the statistics

    Localized mean there is no indication of cancer spread outside the thyroid gland.

    Regional mean there is a little spread to nearby parts outside the thyroid gland.

    Distant mean the cancer spread is far away from the thyroid gland and to parts such bones.

    5 Year Relative Survival Rates for different thyroid cancers

    Papillary Thyroid Cancer Survival Rate

    The statistics clearly show that approx 100% of people suffering from Papillary Thyroid Cancer are like normal people for 5 years or more. This shows that the cancer is not dreadful for most of the people.

    Medullary Thyroid Cancer Survival Rate

    The stats clearly show that this is also a majority of the sufferers will be like normal people. And this is not a much dreadful cancer.

    Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Survival Rate

    As I have been stressing from early that Anaplastic cancer is a very rare and dangerous cancer, the stats prove that. You can see that only 7% of the affected people will be normal for the next 5 years.

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    This is the book I recommend to Read. This lady survived from Thyroid Cancer and shares her experiences.

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    What Causes Thyroid Cancer

    The exact cause of thyroid cancer is not known, though there are factors that may be associated with an increased risk of developing the cancer. Even if the risk factors are present, there is not a way of knowing whether cancer might develop patients without risk factors still may develop thyroid cancer.

    Papillary Thyroid Cancer Survival Rate

    Thyroid Cancer: what is my prognosis?

    Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common thyroid cancer. Papillary thyroid cancer prognosis is often better than for other types of thyroid cancer. This is especially true for people younger than 55. People in this age group with papillary thyroid cancer are less likely to die than older people with papillary thyroid cancer.

    The 5-year survival rates for papillary thyroid cancer are as follows:

    • Localized: nearly 100%
    • Distant: 78%

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    What Other Issues Might I Encounter During Treatment

    Cancer can be expensive. Dr. Lieb says that young adults with thyroid cancer have one of the highest rates of healthcare-related bankruptcy. This is partly due to the cost of imaging studies. Another factor is that many people only have insurance through their workplace and cancer treatment can impact your ability to work. Be sure you have support to help you examine medical bills and proactively engage with your insurance provider.

    What Is The Likelihood Of Thyroid Cancer Recurrence

    The recurrence rate of thyroid cancer depends upon whether the cancer remains localized within the thyroid gland or whether it has spread or metastasized to local structures in the neck or to distant sites in the body.

    In general, the recurrence risk of a cancer that has not spread is very low. For example, Italian researchers found that among patients with papillary cancer of the thyroid gland, those with a low risk of disease had a recurrence rate of about 1.4% at eight years.

    Researchers from the Mayo Clinic followed patients for up to 15 years and concluded that low risk patients had a recurrence rate of 3%-5%. However, they noted that more recently, thyroid cancer was being diagnosed much earlier and with the appropriate surgery, cure was much more likely and survival rate after surgery was very high.

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    Thyroid Hormone Replacement For Follicular Thyroid Cancer

    Regardless of whether a patient has just one thyroid lobe and the isthmus removed, or the entire thyroid gland removed with a total thyroidectomy, most experts agree these patients should be placed on thyroid hormone for the rest of their lives.

    This is to replace the missing hormone in those who have had the thyroid gland removed and to suppress further growth of the gland in those with some tissue left in the neck. There is good evidence that follicular carcinoma responds to TSH secreted by the pituitary, therefore, exogenous thyroid hormone is given. This results in decreased TSH levels and a lower impetus for any remaining cancer cells to grow.


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