Thyroid Problems

Equip yourself. Learn about thyroid problems.

Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Papillary thyroid cancer is one type of a thyroid problem -- in particular, a malignancy of the gland in question.

Incidence and demographics

This is an especially common form of cancer, as far as those of the thyroid go, making up at least 75 percent (and perhaps more) of the cases of malignancy of this gland. It is found with particular frequency amongst women. Additionally, it is more frequently noted in patients with a minumum age of 30 and a maximum age of 40. Moreover, it is the most common form of thyroid cancer in children.


A medical professional, such as a physician, is the one who gives a clinical diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancer. Most often, a typical examination reveals the issue, as it shows up as a mass in the neck. It may be noted as a thyroid nodule that does not display any symptoms -- however, in some situations, it does lead to symptoms in that area. In some situations, thyroglobulin is useful as a marker. Various other methods of detection and differentiation are also employed.


Treatment options for papillary thyroid cancer commonly involve surgery. In cases where the diameter is no more than 1 centimeter, removal of half of the thyroid, or of the tissue band that connects the two thyroid lobes, may be sufficient. Where the patient is dealing with something of a greater size, a complete thyroidectomy (removal of the whole thyroid) is the preferred method. In this method, lymph nodes in the central compartment are also removed, and others may be taken out as well. Somewhere around 4 to 6 weeks after the thyroid has been taken out, the patient then undergoes radioiodine treatment. Other treatment methods are also used, including replacement of thyroid hormone.


The prognosis for a patient with papillary thyroid cancer can be termed as survival rate either in general or based upon the stage of the malignancy. For instance, the five-year figure in general is between 96 and 97 percent. If separated by stages, I and II come in at 100 percent, whereas III is 93 percent and IV falls to 51 percent. These are not the only things that are used to calculate the average prognosis for a patient within a particular group.

Other thyroid cancers include:

Anaplastic cancer

Follicular cancer


Medullary cancer

Additionally, there are non-cancerous thyroid adenoma tumors.