Thyroid Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - General Information About Thyroid Cancer
Risk factors and survivorship
Diffuse, intense immunostaining for vascular endothelial growth factor in patients with papillary cancer has been associated with a high rate of local recurrence and distant metastases. An elevated serum thyroglobulin level correlates strongly with recurrent tumor when found in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer during postoperative evaluations.[22,23] Serum thyroglobulin levels are most sensitive when patients are hypothyroid and have elevated serum thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. Expression of the tumor suppressor gene p53 has also been associated with an adverse prognosis for patients with thyroid cancer.
Patients considered at low risk by the age, metastases, extent, and size (AMES) risk criteria include women younger than 50 years and men younger than 40 years without evidence of distant metastases. Also included in the low-risk group are older patients with primary tumors smaller than 5 cm and papillary cancer without evidence of gross extrathyroid invasion or follicular cancer without either major capsular invasion or blood vessel invasion. Using these criteria, a retrospective study of 1,019 patients showed that the 20-year survival rate is 98% for low-risk patients and 50% for high-risk patients. The 10-year overall relative survival rates for patients in the United States are 93% for papillary cancer, 85% for follicular cancer, 75% for medullary cancer, and 14% for undifferentiated/anaplastic cancer.
The thyroid gland may occasionally be the site of other primary tumors, including sarcomas, lymphomas, epidermoid carcinomas, and teratomas and may be the site of metastasis from other cancers, particularly of the lung, breast, and kidney.
Other PDQ summaries containing information related to thyroid cancer include the following:
- Genetics of Medullary Thyroid Cancer
- Unusual Cancers of Childhood (childhood cancer of the thyroid)
- American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2014. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2014. Available online. Last accessed May 21, 2014.
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