Treatment options for thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer develops in your thyroid gland, a part of your endocrine system. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate toàn thân temperature, heart rate and metabolism. Most thyroid cancers are highly curable. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy và radioiodine therapy.

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Thyroid cancer starts in your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck, just above your trachea (windpipe).

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer develops in your thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck. This gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism (how your body toàn thân uses energy). Thyroid hormones also help control your body toàn thân temperature, blood pressure và heart rate. Thyroid cancer, a type of endocrine cancer, is generally highly treatable, with an excellent cure rate.

How common is thyroid cancer?

Close khổng lồ 53,000 Americans receive a thyroid cancer diagnosis every year. Treatments for most thyroid cancers are very successful. Still, about 2,000 people die from the disease every year.

Women & people assigned female at birth (AFAB) are three times more likely to lớn get thyroid cancer compared to men & people assigned male at birth (AMAB). The disease is commonly diagnosed in women and people AFAB in their 40s và 50s & men and people AMAB in their 60s & 70s. Even children can develop the disease.

What are the types of thyroid cancer?

Healthcare providers classify thyroid cancer based on the type of cells from which the cancer grows. Types of thyroid cancer include:

Papillary: Up to lớn 80% of all thyroid cancers are papillary. This cancer type grows slowly. Although papillary thyroid cancer often spreads to lớn lymph nodes in your neck, the disease responds very well lớn treatment. Papillary thyroid cancer is highly curable and rarely fatal.Medullary: About 2% of thyroid cancers are medullary. A quarter of people with medullary thyroid cancer have a family history of the disease. A faulty ren (genetic mutation) may be lớn blame.Anaplastic: This aggressive thyroid cancer is the hardest type to treat. It can grow quickly & often spreads into surrounding tissue và other parts of your body. This rare cancer type accounts for about 2% of thyroid cancer diagnoses.What are the thyroid cancer stages?

Healthcare providers use a staging system to lớn determine if & how far thyroid cancer has spread. Generally, when cancer cells in your thyroid metastasize, they spread to lớn your nearby structures và lymph nodes first. After that, the cancer can spread to lớn distant lymph nodes, organs & bones.

Thyroid cancer stages range from 1 (I) lớn 4 (IV). In simple terms, the higher the number, the more the cancer has spread. To lớn learn more about cancer staging & how it applies to lớn your specific diagnosis, talk lớn your healthcare provider.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the warning signs of thyroid cancer?

You or your healthcare provider might feel a lump or growth in your neck called a thyroid nodule. Don’t panic if you have a thyroid nodule. Most nodules are benign (not cancer). Only about 3 out of 20 thyroid nodules turn out to lớn be cancerous (malignant).

Other thyroid cancer symptoms include:

Difficulty breathing or swallowing.What are the signs that thyroid cancer has spread?

If you have thyroid cancer that has spread (metastasized) to other areas of your body, you may experience symptoms such as:

Tiredness.Loss of appetite.Nausea and vomiting.Unexpected weight loss.

What causes thyroid cancer?

Experts aren’t sure why some cells become cancerous (malignant) và attack your thyroid. Certain factors, such as radiation exposure, a diet low in iodine & faulty genes can increase risk. Other risk factors include:

Gene mutations (changes) that cause endocrine diseases, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN2A) or type 2B (MEN2B) syndrome.Low iodine intake.Exposure lớn radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons or a power nguồn plant accident.

Diagnosis và Tests

How is thyroid cancer diagnosed?

If you have an enlarged thyroid nodule or other signs of thyroid cancer, your healthcare provider may order one or more of these tests:

Radioiodine scan: This thử nghiệm can detect thyroid cancer & determine if cancer has spread. You swallow a pill containing a safe amount of radioactive iodine (radioiodine). Over a few hours, your thyroid gland absorbs the iodine. Your healthcare provider uses a special device lớn measure the amount of radiation in the gland. Areas with less radioactivity need more testing khổng lồ confirm the presence of cancer.

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Management và Treatment

How is thyroid cancer managed or treated?

Treatments for thyroid cancer depend on the tumor kích cỡ and whether the cancer has spread. Treatments include:

Hormone therapy: This treatment blocks the release of hormones that can cause cancer lớn spread or come back.What are the complications of thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer can spread (metastasize) to other parts of your body, such as your liver, lungs or bones. Detecting and treating thyroid cancer in the early stages reduces your risk for metastasis.

Thyroid cancer can recur (come back), even after treatment. Because thyroid cancer grows slowly, it could take up to trăng tròn years lớn come back. Recurrence happens in up to 30% of thyroid cancer cases.

Overall, thyroid cancer prognosis (outlook) is positive. But it’s important to lớn know that after thyroid surgery or treatments, your toàn thân still needs thyroid hormones lớn function. You’ll need thyroid replacement hooc môn therapy for life. Synthetic thyroid hormones, such as levothyroxine (Synthroid®), take over for the thyroid hormones that your body toàn thân no longer naturally produces.

How does thyroid cancer affect pregnancy?

Thyroid cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in people who are pregnant (breast cancer is first). Approximately 10% of thyroid cancers develop during pregnancy or within the first year after childbirth. Experts believe fluctuating hooc môn levels during pregnancy may trigger the cancer.

If you receive a thyroid cancer diagnosis during pregnancy, your healthcare provider can discuss treatment options. Depending on the cancer type & severity, your provider may recommend delaying treatment until after you deliver your baby. If treatment can’t wait, most people can safely undergo surgery to remove the cancerous gland. You shouldn’t have radioactive diagnostic tests or treatments when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding (chestfeeding).

How long does it take khổng lồ recover from thyroid cancer treatment?

Recovery depends on several factors, including your age, the size and stage of your thyroid tumor, và what type of treatment you received. Talk lớn your healthcare provider about what to lớn expect during & after your thyroid cancer treatment.


Can I prevent thyroid cancer?

Many people develop thyroid cancer for no known reason, so prevention isn’t really possible. But if you know you’re at risk for thyroid cancer, you may be able khổng lồ take these steps:

Preventive (prophylactic) surgery: Genetic tests can determine if you carry an altered ren (a mutation) that increases your risk for medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia. If you have the faulty gene, you may opt to lớn have preventive (prophylactic) surgery lớn remove your thyroid gland before cancer develops.

Outlook / Prognosis

What’s the thyroid cancer survival rate?

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 their gland (localized). Even when the cancer spreads (metastasizes), the survival rate is close to 80%. This rate means that, on average, you’re about 80% as likely to live for at least five years after diagnosis as someone who doesn’t have metastatic papillary thyroid cancer.

Five-year survival rates for other thyroid cancer types include:

Follicular: Close khổng lồ 100% for localized; around 63% for metastasized.Medullary: Close khổng lồ 100% for localized; around 40% for metastasized.Anaplastic: Close to 31% for localized; 4% for metastasized.Is thyroid cancer curable?

Yes, most thyroid cancers are curable with treatment, especially if the cancer cells haven’t spread lớn distant parts of your body. If treatment doesn’t fully cure thyroid cancer, your healthcare provider can thiết kế a treatment plan to destroy as much of the tumor as possible và prevent it from growing back or spreading.

Living With

When should I see healthcare provider?

You should gọi your healthcare provider if you have thyroid cancer and you experience:

Lump in your neck.Rapid heart rate.Unexplained weight loss or gain.

What questions should I ask doctor?

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

Why did I get thyroid cancer?What type of thyroid cancer vì chưng I have?Has the cancer spread outside of thyroid gland?What’s 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 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 vị I need after treatment?Should I look out for signs of complications?

A chú ý from Cleveland Clinic

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is unsettling, regardless of the type. Fortunately, most thyroid cancers respond extremely well khổng lồ treatment. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for the type of thyroid cancer you have. After treatment, you may need khổng lồ take synthetic thyroid hormones for life. These hormones support vital toàn thân functions. They usually don’t cause any significant side effects, but you’ll have regular checkups khổng lồ monitor your health.