Thyroid Cancer Stages
After you are diagnosed with thyroid cancer, you will have tests to determine the type of cancer cells you have and whether cancer has spread (metastasized) to other parts of your body.
Staging for thyroid cancer is based on the size of the cancer, lymph node involvement, and the involvement of underlying structures, such as muscle or bone. Staging of thyroid cancer has been classified by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).1
All anaplastic cancers are considered T4 tumors:
After the tumor (T) is staged, the TNM system stages lymph node involvement (N) to help determine the treatment options at each stage. The nearby (regional) lymph nodes are the central compartment, the lateral cervical, and the upper mediastinal lymph nodes. Lymph node involvement is staged in the following way:
The last part is to determine whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized). The TNM system stages metastasis (M) in the following way:
The TNM staging system allows your doctor to recommend the most effective treatment options and discuss your long-term outcome (prognosis) based on the type of tumor, the stage of the cancer, your age, and your overall health.
The stage groupings are separate for papillary or follicular cancer, medullary cancer, and anaplastic cancer.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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