Cancer comes in many forms, and cancer in one organ can present itself in an entirely different manner from person to person. This is especially true about thyroid cancer, as it comes in a variety of forms. Today we take a look at the four most common types of thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer typically presents itself in one of four ways. Here’s a closer look at the types of cancer and their prevalence rates.
Papillary Thyroid Cancer
Papillary thyroid cancer is by far the most common form of thyroid cancer affecting Americans. Roughly 86 percent of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer will be deal with the papillary form. This type of cancer begins in the follicular cells, which are responsible for producing the thyroid hormone. Diagnosed early enough, most people can be cured of the condition.
This is the second most common type of thyroid cancer, as roughly 9 percent of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer will deal with the follicular type. Similar to papillary cancer, follicular cancer begins in the follicular cells. It too has high treatment success rates when detected in an early stage.
Now we’re getting into the more rare types of thyroid cancer. Medullary cancer is pretty uncommon, affecting only about 2 percent of individuals diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This type of cancer begins in what’s known as the C cells, which are responsible for producing calcitonin, a hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the body. Medullary cancer causes C cells to overproduce calcitonin, which is problematic. Medullary cancer sometimes runs in families passed down in a gene called RET. Thankfully, caught early enough, medullary can be cured.
This is the least common type of thyroid cancer, affecting about 1 percent of individuals diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The vast majority of people diagnosed with anaplastic cancer are over the age of 60. The cancer begins in the follicular cells, and the cancer tends to spread very quickly. Because it is often hard to control, treatment varies and success rates are dependent on how far the cancer has spread.
All of these cancers can be diagnosed with the use of blood tests and imaging scans. As you can see, early detection is crucial to cure the condition, so consider having your thyroid looked over by a thyroid specialist, especially if you’re over the age of 40. For more information, contact us today.