Thyroid cancer is a cancer originating from follicular or parafollicular thyroid cells. These cells give rise to both well-differentiated cancers (i.e., papillary and follicular) and anaplastic thyroid cancer. The second cell type, the C or parafollicular cell, produces the hormone calcitonin and is the cell of origin for medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).
The most effective management of aggressive thyroid cancers is surgical removal of thyroid gland (thyroidectomy) followed by radioactive iodine ablation and TSH-suppression therapy. Chemotherapy or radiotherapy may also be used in cases of distant metastases or advanced cancer stage. Five year survival rates are 97.8% in the United States.