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64

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Thyroid Cancer, Version 1.2017

7

Treatment guide

Anaplastic thyroid cancer

This information is taken from the

treatment guidelines written by NCCN

experts of thyroid cancer. These treatment

guidelines list options for people with

thyroid cancer in general. Thus, your

doctors may suggest other treatment for

you based on your health and personal

needs. Discuss and decide on your

treatment plan with your doctor.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer

Anaplastic is the least common type of thyroid

cancer. About 1 out of 100 people diagnosed

with thyroid cancer have this type. It is what the

pathologists call an “undifferentiated” type. The

cells look very different from normal cells under a

microscope.

Anaplastic is an aggressive form of thyroid cancer. It

is considered stage IV at diagnosis. If biopsy results

detect this type of thyroid cancer, more testing is

done to find out the extent of cancer. This includes

blood tests, an ultrasound of the neck, and CT of the

head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. A laryngoscopy

(exam of the back of your throat) and FDG PET/

CT (18F-

f

luoro

d

eoxy

g

lucose

p

ositron

e

mission

t

omography/

c

omputed

t

omography) may also be

done. Doctors want to know if the cancer is causing

problems in the airway or elsewhere.

See Guide

23.

Guide 23. Anaplastic found on an FNA or core biopsy

Results Tests Goals of therapy

Anaplastic thyroid cancer

ª

• CBC and chemistry

• TSH

• Neck ultrasound

• CT head, neck, chest,

abdomen, and pelvis

• Laryngoscopy to view

the inside of the throat

• FDG PET/CT

• Bronchoscopy to check

for disease in the

airway

ª

• Seek care from

multidisciplinary team of

doctors who specialize in

anaplastic thyroid cancer

• Discuss prognosis

• Discuss the benefits and

risks of treatment options

• Discuss options to relieve

symptoms