Overview

What Is Thyroid Cancer?

The thyroid gland is a hormone-secreting structure located in the lower neck below the voice box. The thyroid hormone is responsible for controlling the rate of metabolism of the body. Cancer occurs when cells in the body begin changing and multiplying out of control. These cells can form lumps of tissue called tumors. Cancer that develops in the thyroid is called thyroid cancer.

Many types of cancer can develop in the thyroid gland. The majority of these are called differentiated thyroid cancer, which is classified into three types:

  • Papillary carcinoma, which is the most common
  • Follicular carcinoma
  • Hurthle cell carcinoma

The vast majority of differentiated carcinomas have a favorable outcome with appropriate treatment.

Other types of cancer that form in the thyroid gland include:

  • Anaplastic carcinoma
  • Medullary carcinoma
  • Lymphoma

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