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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Thyroid Cancer, Version 1.2017


Cancer stages and treatment


Prognostic factors

Your prognosis should be something that comes up

when discussing plans with your doctor. A prognostic

factor is something that affects or helps predict the

likely outcome of a disease. It is a prediction that

is based on many factors. A doctor considers your

personal traits like age, test results, and extent of

cancer when talking about survival (your prognosis).

For thyroid cancer, things like age, tumor type, and

cancer stage play an important role in prognosis.

Prognosis may be better for those patients younger

than age 40 years. Thyroid cancer also tends to be

slightly more aggressive in men but prognosis is

similar to women.

When cancer is diagnosed very late or keeps

progressing despite all treatment efforts, it may be

time to set some new goals. Fortunately, in thyroid

cancer this is uncommon. If it becomes clear that

cure is not possible, treatment becomes about

symptom relief and making the most of your time.

Sometimes a doctor may introduce hospice care as

an option. Hospice care may be started because you

aren’t interested in more cancer treatment, no other

cancer treatment is available, or you may be too sick

for cancer treatment. Hospice care allows you to

have the best quality of life possible. It includes both

physical and emotional care for people who are close

to the end of life. Care is given all day, every day of

the week. You can choose to have hospice care at

home or at a hospice center.




Your treatment team of doctors may include an

endocrinologist, radiologist, nuclear medicine

doctor, surgeon, radiation oncologist, and

medical oncologist.



When it comes to thyroid cancer, your doctors

want to know if the cancer is only in the thyroid

or if it has gone beyond the thyroid into nearby

or distant areas.



The cancer stage is based on how much the

cancer has grown and spread in the body.



The first treatment option is called primary

treatment and is usually surgery.



Follow-up care is needed after any cancer

treatment is finished.



For thyroid cancer, things like age, tumor type,

and cancer stage play an important role in


It may not always be life-threatening

but it is always life-altering and a

lifelong journey.

- Evelyn