Lifelong Monitoring For Follicular Thyroid Cancer!!

follicular thyroid cancerThe thyroid cancer has very high survival rates.

Survival rates are high, with 95% of all thyroid cancer patients achieving what would be considered a cure, or long-term survival without re-occurrence.

However, Thyroid cancer is still a cancer that requires treatment and lifelong monitoring and can have debilitating effects on patients.

In the United States, there are about 20,000 new cases of thyroid cancer each year. Females are more likely to have thyroid cancer when compared to males. Although it is most common after age 30 and its aggressiveness increases significantly in older patients, thyroid cancer can occur in any age group.

The majority of patients present with a nodule on their thyroid does not cause symptoms. Remember, over 99% of thyroid nodules are not cancer!

Follicular thyroid cancer is considered more malignant (aggressive) than the other types. It occurs in a slightly older age group than papillary and is also less common in children. In contrast to papillary cancer, it occurs only rarely after radiation therapy.

Death Rate!! Mortality is related to the degree of vascular invasion. In terms of prognosis, age is a very important factor. Patients over 40 have a more aggressive disease and typically the tumor does not concentrate iodine as well as in younger patients.

A small primary distant metastasis may occur. Lung, liver, bladder, bone, brain and skin are potential sites of distant spread. Lymph node involvement is far less common than in papillary carcinoma (8-13%).

Let’s summarize the facts of follicular thyroid cancer:

  • This disease is rarely associated with radiation exposure
  • Spread to lymph nodes is uncommon and accounts less than 10%
  • Invasion into vascular structures such as veins and arteries is common within the thyroid gland
  • Distant spread to lungs or bones is uncommon
  • Peak onset ages 40 through 60
  • Effects females more than males (3:1)
  • Prognosis directly related to tumor size
  • Near 95% is the overall cure rate for small lesions in young patients, however this decreases with advanced age

It is nearly impossible to predict the outcome for an individual patient though the cure rates have been determined for groups of patients with papillary or follicular thyroid cancer. Nevertheless, medical scientists have made several trials either to predict the prognosis of patients with differentiated thyroid cancers or to classify these patients into low- or high-risk categories.

Follow up is very important for follicular thyroid cancer patients or for that matter any cancer patient.

Even after removal of the thyroid gland, in whole or in part, or other types of treatment, most patients will then be classified as hypothyroid, and will need to take prescription thyroid hormone replacement drugs for the remainder of their lives. Many physicians also ask patients to go off thyroid hormone annually and undergo a scan for any recurrence.

So hope you had good information on the follicular thyroid cancer.