In general, the prognosis for thyroid cancer (meaning the long-term survival for this cancer) is usually much better in a thyroid cancer that is found at stage I or II. In contrast, stage III and IV have the worst outcome as often distant metastases are either there (stage IV) or are developing soon (stage III) in a high percentage. However, with thyroid cancer, as explained above, an important prognostic factor, above all, is the histology. In other words, to illustrate this, the 10-year survival rates are given here for four different histological types after early diagnosis and thyroid cancer treatment.
10-year survivals in four common thyroid cancers
*Note that in the past prior to calcitonin level screening this survival rate typically was 50%
The anaplastic thyroid cancer, even when found early and treated with chemotherapy, has an overall cancer survival rate of just over 2 years all in all.
1. Cancer: Principles&Practice of Oncology. 5th edition, volume 1. Edited by Vincent T. DeVita, Jr. et al. Lippincott-Raven Publ., Philadelphia,PA, 1997. Thyroid tumors.
2. Cancer: Principles &Practice of Oncology, 4th edition, by V.T. De Vita,Jr.,et. al J.B. LippincottCo.,Philadelphia, 1993.Thyroid tumors.
3. CC Cheung et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001 May;86(5):2187-2190.
4. F Dede et al. Clin Nucl Med 2001 May;26(5):396-399.
5. S Hermann et al. Int J Cancer 2001 Jun 15;92(6):805-811.
6. I Sturm et al. J Clin Oncol 1999 May;17(5):1364-1374.
7. VL Greenberg et al. Thyroid 2001 Apr;11(4):315-325.
8. K Ohta et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001May;86(5):2170-2177.
9. Conn’s Current Therapy 2004, 56th ed., Copyright © 2004 Elsevier
10. Ferri: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 2004 ed., Copyright © 2004 Mosby, Inc