Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

The most common type of thyroid cancer is papillary thyroid cancer.  It makes up over eighty percent of thyroid cancers and, with proper treatment, is considered to have the best overall “prognosis.”  Follicular thyroid cancer similarly has a favourable outcome with proper treatment. Together, papillary and follicular thyroid cancer are called “thyroid epithelial” cancers because they come from cells that are responsible for making thyroid hormone, which is essential for regulating metabolism. Both cancer types are termed “Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer” because the cancer cells behave like normal thyroid tissue, in that they take up iodine and produce thyroid hormones. These characteristics allow for certain monitoring and treatment options that are unique to well-differentiated thyroid cancer and are not possible with other cancers. This section will go into further detail on the causes, symptoms, and treatments for well-differentiated thyroid cancer.