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Types of Thyroid Cancer Thyroid cancer forms in the thyroid gland (an organ at the base of the throat that makes hormones that help control heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight). Four main types of thyroid cancer are papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. The four types are based on how the cancer cells look under a microscope. Source: National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. www.cancer.gov Thyroid hormone is made by thyroid follicular cells. It affects heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight.
Calcitonin is made by C cells in the thyroid. It plays a small role in keeping a healthy level of calcium in the body. Papillary thyroid cancer:
In the United States, this type makes up about 80 percent of all thyroid cancers. It begins in follicular cells and grows slowly. If diagnosed early, most people with papillary thyroid cancer can be cured.
Follicular thyroid cancer:
This type makes up about 15 percent of all thyroid cancers. It begins in follicular cells and grows slowly. If diagnosed early, most people with follicular thyroid cancer can be treated successfully.
Medullary thyroid cancer:
This type makes up about 3 percent of all thyroid cancers. It begins in the C cells of the thyroid. Cancer that starts in the C cells can make abnormally high levels of calcitonin. Medullary thyroid cancer tends to grow slowly. It can be easier to control if it's found and treated before it spreads to other parts of the body.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer:
This type makes up about 2 percent of all thyroid cancers. It begins in the follicular cells of the thyroid. The cancer cells tend to grow and spread very quickly. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is very hard to control. LifeART Collection Images Copyright © 1989-2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD Lobes Parathyroid
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