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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Thyroid Cancer, Version 1.2017



adjuvant treatment

A type of cancer drug that is given after the main treatment

used to cure the cancer.

anaplastic thyroid cancer

An aggressive type of thyroid cancer with undifferentiated



Loss of feeling with or without loss of wakefulness that is

caused by drugs.


A protein made by white blood cells that helps fight off

infection. Also called an immunoglobulin.


Any substance that activates the immune system.


Removal of small amounts of tissue or fluid to be tested for


blood vessel

A hollow tube that circulates blood throughout the body.

bone marrow

Soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones where

blood cells are made.

C cells

Cells in the thyroid that make calcitonin. These cells are

also called parafollicular cells.


A hormone made by the C cells of the thyroid gland. It helps

control the calcium level in the blood.


A mineral needed for healthy teeth, bones, and other body


cancer stage

The rating of the growth and spread of cancer.

carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)

A tumor marker that may be found with medullary thyroid

cancer or other cancer types like colon or rectal cancer.

cell subtype

Different types of cancer cells that are grouped based on

how the cells look when viewed with a microscope.

central nervous system

The brain and spinal cord.

cervical lymph node

Groups of disease-fighting cells that are within the neck.


Drugs that stop the life cycle of cells so they don’t increase

in number.


Strands of genetic material inside of cells

clinical trial

Research on a test or treatment to assess its safety or how

well it works.

complete blood count (CBC)

A test of the number of blood cells in a sample.

comprehensive metabolic panel

Tests of up to 14 chemicals in your blood.

computed tomography (CT)

A test that uses x-rays to view body parts.


A dye put into your body to make clearer pictures during

imaging tests.

core needle biopsy

Removal of a large tissue sample with a wide, hollow needle

to test for disease.


A closed sac in the body filled with air or fluid.

deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

A chain of chemicals inside cells that contains coded

instructions for making and controlling cells.


A disease that causes high levels of blood sugar.


To identify a disease.