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Differentiated thyroid cancer

Differentiated thyroid cancer is a tumorous proliferation originating from the follicle of the thyroid gland. It most frequently occurs between the age of 40 and 50 among women and between the age of 45 and 50 among men. Its characteristic symptoms are the following: gradually growing painful or painless thyroid nodules, enlargement of lymph nodes of the neck, swallowing difficulties, hoarseness.


Types of differentiated thyroid cancer

Papillary carcinoma

About 70 per cent of thyroid cancers are of papillary type. Usually it occurs between the age of 35 and 55 and it is 3-4 times more common among women than among men. The name of the disease refers to the follicular (glandular epithelium) cells which are located in diverticular processes, so-called papillae. Typically it infiltrates surrounding tissues and it is usually detectable in the opposite thyroid lobule. As is frequently gives metastasis to lymph nodes of the neck, a palpable nodule on the neck may refer to the presence of lymphatic metastasis of the papillary carcinoma. In countries with big iodine resources the ratio of papillary thyroid carcinomas are higher than of follicular cancers.


Follicular cancer

15-20 per cent of malignant thyroid cancers are follicular types. It is more common among women between the age of 50 and 60 than among men. The characteristic feature of the follicular cancer is that it breaks the capsule of the thyroid gland and intrudes into vessels thus it may give metastases rapidly. In countries with low iodine resources follicular cancer cases are relatively more common than papillary carcinomas.

Treatment of thyroid cancers is mainly surgical after which radioiodine therapy is recommended.

After the adequate treatment most patients recover and 70-90 per cent of them are still alive (and even disease-free) 5-10 years after the therapy.