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Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Cancer that forms in follicular cells in the thyroid and grows in small finger-like shapes. It grows slowly, is more common in women than in men, and often occurs before age 45. It is the most common type of thyroid cancer.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

More About Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the thyroid gland.

The thyroid is a gland at the base of the throat near the trachea (windpipe). It is shaped like a butterfly, with a right lobe and a left lobe. The isthmus, a thin piece of tissue, connects the two lobes. A healthy thyroid is a little larger than a quarter. It usually cannot be felt through the skin.

The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to help make several hormones. Thyroid hormones do the following:

There are four main types of thyroid cancer:

NIH - National Cancer Institute

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Amifostine for salivary glands in high‐dose radioactive iodine treated differentiated thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is the most common malignancy of the endocrine system consisting of several subtypes like papillary carcinoma (accounting for 80% of cases) and follicular carcinoma (accounting for 11% of cases). These are collectively referred to as 'differentiated thyroid cancer'. Treatment with radioactive iodine after surgery (ablation of the thyroid gland or 'thyroidectomy') is important for the detection of metastatic disease and for the destruction of the remaining thyroid tissue with microscopic cancer. After radioactive iodine treatment, adverse effects may happen in the salivary glands and cause salivary gland swelling and pain, usually involving the parotid. The symptoms may develop immediately after a therapeutic dose of radioactive iodine or months later and progress in intensity with time. Secondary complications reported include dry mouth ('xerostomia') and taste alterations.

A meta-analysis of the effect of prophylactic central compartment neck dissection on locoregional recurrence rates in patients with papillary thyroid cancer

BACKGROUND: It is not known whether prophylactic central compartment neck dissection (pCCND) in conjunction with total thyroidectomy decreases rates of locoregional recurrence in patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).

Prophylactic central neck dissection and local recurrence in papillary thyroid cancer: a meta-analysis

BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of prophylactic central neck dissection (pCND) in the treatment of patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) to prevent local recurrence is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to assess the effect of pCND on local recurrence in PTC.

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Summaries for consumers

Amifostine for salivary glands in high‐dose radioactive iodine treated differentiated thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is the most common malignancy of the endocrine system consisting of several subtypes like papillary carcinoma (accounting for 80% of cases) and follicular carcinoma (accounting for 11% of cases). These are collectively referred to as 'differentiated thyroid cancer'. Treatment with radioactive iodine after surgery (ablation of the thyroid gland or 'thyroidectomy') is important for the detection of metastatic disease and for the destruction of the remaining thyroid tissue with microscopic cancer. After radioactive iodine treatment, adverse effects may happen in the salivary glands and cause salivary gland swelling and pain, usually involving the parotid. The symptoms may develop immediately after a therapeutic dose of radioactive iodine or months later and progress in intensity with time. Secondary complications reported include dry mouth ('xerostomia') and taste alterations.

Thyroid Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of thyroid cancer.

Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of unusual cancers of childhood such as cancers of the head and neck, chest, abdomen, reproductive system, skin, and others.

See all (4)

Terms to know

Carcinoma
Carcinoma is a cancer found in body tissues that cover or line surfaces of organs, glands, or body structures.
Follicle (Follicular)
A sac or pouch-like cavity formed by a group of cells. In the ovaries, one follicle contains one egg. In the skin, one follicle contains one hair.
Thyroid Follicular Cells
A type of cell in the thyroid. Thyroid follicular cells make thyroid hormone.
Thyroid Gland
A gland located beneath the larynx (voice box) that makes thyroid hormone and calcitonin. The thyroid helps regulate growth and metabolism. Also called thyroid gland.
Thyroid Hormones
A hormone that affects heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight. Thyroid hormone is made by the thyroid gland and can also be made in the laboratory.

More about Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Photo of a young adult woman

Also called: Papillary thyroid carcinoma

Other terms to know: See all 5
Carcinoma, Follicle (Follicular), Thyroid Follicular Cells

Related articles:
How the Thyroid Works

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