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›› What is Thyroid Cancer?
Causes of Thyroid Cancer
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Main > Specialty Areas > Oncology >
Thyroid Cancer

What is Thyroid Cancer?

More than 20,000 people get thyroid cancer annually in the US alone. Of these, women are three times more prone to thyroid cancer in comparison to men.

There are 4 types of thyroid cancer, namely, Papillary or Mixed Papillary, Follicular / Hurthle Cell, Medullary, and Anaplastic. Papillary or Mixed Papillary is the most common type of thyroid cancer which accounts for more than 70% of thyroid cancer, Follicular / Hurthle Cell accounts for less than 20% of thyroid cancer cases, Medullary which is less than 5% and the rare Anaplastic which occurs in only 1% of thyroid cancer.

Most of these types of thyroid cancer are curable and the papillary and follicular thyroid cancer are almost always curable, with a 97% cure rate in younger people. In both papillary and follicular thyroid cancers, the entire lobe of the thyroid is surgically removed. It is here that the cancer cells typically grow. Since most types of thyroid cancers are papillary and since it can almost always be cured, thyroid cancer is not quite fatal any longer.

Medullary thyroid cancer is not so common but it is a less curable form of thyroid cancer. Medullary cancer cells multiply and quickly diversify in huge numbers of lymph nodes very early on in the development of the thyroid cancer. So, Medullary thyroid cancer demands a more intense treatment and a more in-depth operation procedure in comparison to the other localized thyroid cancer types like papillary or follicular thyroid cancer. When people suffer from Medullary thyroid cancer, they are required to get their full thyroid removed along with the lymph nodes in the front and the sides of their neck.

The rarest form of thyroid cancer is the Anaplastic thyroid cancer which can only found after it has spread and it is normally fatal and incurable. Even an operation cannot remove all the tumor and cancer cells. Anaplastic thyroid cancer patients require treatment with a tracheostomy which is more aggressive in comparison with other types of thyroid cancer like Papillary, Follicular, or Medullary.

Causes of Thyroid Cancer ››

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