Types of Thyroid Cancer

Updated at: Nov 22, 2012
Types of Thyroid Cancer

Types of thyroid cancer: Learn all about the types of thyroid cancer.

Vatsal Anand
CancerWritten by: Vatsal AnandPublished at: Jun 08, 2012

`Types of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is diagnosed by a biopsy in which the type of cancer is also determined. The pathologist can differentiate between the varying appearances of the cancer cells found under the microscope, and know the type of cancer.


[Read: Different Stages of Thyroid Cancer]


The types of thyroid cancer are:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer – Around 60 per cent of all thyroid cancers fall in this category. This type of thyroid cancer is more common among women. This cancer is found mostly in the young and it grows slowly. It has a tendency to spread to lymph nodes in the neck or placed close to the thyroid.
  • Follicular thyroid cancer – Around 15 percent of thyroid cancer patients are afflicted with this type. It affects mostly the young and middle aged. It can sometimes spread to other parts of the body and the most common parts are lunges and bones.
  • Medullary thyroid cancer – This is one of the rare forms of thyroid cancer which is found in five to ten per cent of all thyroid cancer patients. One-fourth of all cases of this cancer type is due to genetic disorder. This cancer can spread to lungs and bones.
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer – Close to 5 per cent of all thyroid cancer cases fall in this category. Usually the elderly are afflicted with this disease as more than 75 per cent of people suffering from this cancer are older than 60 years. This form of cancer occurs mostly in women and grows quicker than other forms of thyroid cancer.


[Read: Thyroid Cancer Warning Signs]


A very rare condition of thyroid cancer also occurs, called the Non Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) of the thyroid. This is a very rare condition. Although among all the cancers, that of thyroid is a relatively uncommon one, it does require you to take lifelong treatment. With lifelong monitoring, one can survive the disease too. This becomes evident with the fact that in 95 per cent of the cases of thyroid cancer, the patients are able to survive for a long-term.

The elderly should be particularly wary of anaplastic as it is the most serious form of cancer. It can easily spread to the lymph nodes and you get a lump in the neck, for which you will need to visit a doctor. It is also dangerous with regards to its inclination to spread to other body parts. The low incidence of this cancer type is due to the fact that it affects mostly the old people. That is the main reason behind the very low long-term survival rate compared to other forms of thyroid cancer.


Read more articles on Cancer.




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