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NCCN QUICK GUIDE

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Thyroid Cancer, Version 1.2017

PAT-N-0974-0417

What is differentiated thyroid cancer and how is it treated?

Differentiated thyroid cancer includes papillary, follicular, and Hürthle cell. The follicular

type of thyroid cancer has cells that look almost like normal cells when examined under a

microscope.

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Surgery is the primary treatment option.

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What is medullary thyroid cancer and how is it treated?

Medullary thyroid cancer starts in the neuroendocrine parafollicular C cells of the thyroid.

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For medullary thyroid that is not inherited, treatment may involve surgery with possible

neck dissection, radiation therapy, and levothyroxine.

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If you have an inherited form of medullary thyroid cancer, your doctor will consider surgery

with possible neck dissection, radiation therapy, and levothyroxine for primary treatment.

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What is anaplastic thyroid cancer and how is it treated?

Anaplastic thyroid cancer is what the pathologists call an “undifferentiated” type. The cells

look very different from normal cells under a microscope.

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Surgery may be an option. Treatment may involve systemic treatment like chemotherapy.

Many people also get radiation therapy for this type of thyroid cancer.

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How do you decide between options?

Ask your doctors many questions. Also, you could get a second opinion, attend support

groups, and compare the benefits and risks of different options.

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