Thyroid cancers represent 1% of all cancers.


Thyroid cancer is mostly seen in the endocrine organs (thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, testicles, ovaries).


The overall course of thyroid cancer is generally good. 10-year survival rates, in other words survival rates 10 years after the disease, are 80-90%. This is a very high survival rate compared to other organ cancers.


In thyroid cancers, cancer has a high rate of local recurrence, i.e the spread rate of cancer cells to the neighbouring parts, according to the type and stage of the cancer.  The most common metastasis is the metastasis of lymph nodes in the neck.


Lymph node metastasis does not shorten the lifespan of patient, but these metastases need to be removed surgically.


The course of the disease depends on the tumor size and the age of patient.  Metastasis rate is higher if tumor diameter is larger than 4 cm and the patient's age is over 45.


Thyroid cancers have some subgroups that have poor prognosis (such as tall-cell variant, sclerosing variant).  In cancers of these subgroups, the incidence of local recurrence and distant metastases is higher.


Spread to organs such as the lungs, bone and brain is called "distant metastasis".


There are also thyroid carcinoma types, which are very rarely seen but have very poor prognosis.  These types usually result in death within 8 months after the diagnosis.


Just like in any other cancer, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial in terms of the course of disease. 

     

Cancer shape from removed thyroid gland