What are the specific stages of thyroid cancer?

Expert Answers
jgeertz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Once it has been positively confirmed that a person has thyroid cancer, it is necessary to determine the stage of the disease in order to plan effective treatment.

If a person is given the diagnosis of:

Stage 1 papillary and follicular thyroid cancer, the cancer is isolated to just the thyroid with the tumor measuring 2 cm or less.

Stage II papillary and follicular thyroid cancer, the cancer is still confined to only the thyroid but the tumor measures between 2 and 4 cm.

Stage III papillary follicular thyroid cancer, the tumor is either larger than 4 cm and has spread to other tissue or it may have spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage IV papillary follicular thyroid cancer is separated into distinct stages:

IV A) cancer has spread to the trachea, larynx, or neck lymph nodes.

IV B) cancer has spread to the spine

IV C) cancer has spread to other areas of the body like the bones or lungs.

Likewise, medullary thyroid cancer and anaplastic thyroid cancer can be found in Stage 0 (no tumor - positive diagnostic indicators) through Stage IV which is further divided into IV A, IV B, and IV C depending on where the cancer has been found.

aclawrence | Student

Basically you have Stages 0-4 with stage 4 being borken down into A, B, & C. Stage 0 is only in medullary and then there is anaplastic thyroid cancer. 


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