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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Thyroid Cancer, Version 1.2017



A type of white blood cell that helps protect the body from



Cancer that begins in white blood cells called lymphocytes

that are within the lymphatic system.

lymphoplasmacytic cells

Cells that have features of both lymphocytes and plasma


lymph vessel

Tube-shaped ducts that carry lymph throughout the body.

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A test that uses radio waves and powerful magnets to make

pictures of the insides of the body.


Treatment given to continue good treatment results and

prevent cancer from coming back.

margin status

The presence or absence of cancer cells in the normal-

looking tissue around a tumor.

medical history

All health events and medications taken to date.

medical oncologist

A doctor who is an expert in cancer drugs.

medullary thyroid cancer

A type of thyroid cancer that starts in the C cells that make



The spread of cancer cells from the first tumor to another

body part.

molecular test

A test of abnormal coded instructions in cells or the proteins

that help cancer cells grow.

monoclonal antibody

Man-made antibodies that attach proteins on cancer cells.

multidisciplinary team

A group of health care professionals who are experts in

different areas of treatment related to cancer.

neck dissection

Removal of the lymph nodes and other tissue in the neck


negative margin

The absence of cancer cells in the normal-looking tissue

around the tumor that is removed during surgery.


A small mass of tissue.

normal range

A set of values that is based on test results of healthy



A period of scheduled follow-up testing to watch for signs of

cancer spread (metastasis) or return (recurrence).

papillary thyroid cancer

The most common type of thyroid cancer that starts in the

follicular cells.

parathyroid gland

A small gland near the thyroid that makes the parathyroid

hormone. The body has four parathyroid glands.


A doctor who’s an expert in testing cells to find disease.

pathology report

A document with information about cells and tissue removed

from the body and examined with a microscope for disease.

persistent cancer

Cancer that is not completely removed or destroyed by


physical exam

A review of the body by a health expert for signs of disease.

pituitary gland

A gland found near the base of the brain. It makes

hormones that control how other glands in the body work or

make hormones.

positive margin

The presence of cancer within the normal-looking tissue

around the tumor that is removed during surgery.

positron emission tomography (PET)

A test that uses radioactive material to see the shape and

function of body parts.


The expected pattern and outcome of a disease based on