Early stages of Thyroid Cancer

Introduction

Once a person is diagnosed with thyroid cancer, now they need complete medical attention. The doctors will first determine the severity of cancer. This procedure is called staging. The phase of cancer portrays how much tumor is in the body. It decides how lethal the malignancy is and how best to treat it.

There are generally 4 Thyroid cancer stages, from stages I (1) to IV (4). The lower the stage, the less cancer has spread. A higher stage, for example, stage IV, implies malignancy has spread more and has become life-threatening. Early thyroid stages include stage 1 and stage 2. These stages are determined by the help of thyroid tests.

Thyroid Cancer

A TNM system is used for these classifications of thyroid cancer. TNM stands for tumor, nodes, and metastasis.

  • Tumor size (T):

    how big is cancer? Has it spread to the nearby structures?

  • Lymph nodes (N):

    Is cancer physically affecting nearby lymph nodes?

  • Metastasis:

    has cancer spread to other organs like lungs and liver?

These letters T, N, and M helps in getting more details about the severity of thyroid cancer.

Based on the type of thyroid cancer, these stages are defined below:

What are the Stages of thyroid cancer?

When malignancy of the thyroid is found, more tests will be done to see whether disease cells have spread to different parts of the body. These tests will help the doctors to get a better understanding of the severity of cancer. A specialist has to know the phase of the sickness to design treatment. The accompanying stages are utilized for papillary malignancies of the thyroid:

Anaplastic thyroid cancer

Anaplastic thyroid disease develops rapidly is found to affect the neck in its early stage. Stage IV anaplastic thyroid cancer is further separated into stages IVA, IVB, and IVC.

  1. Stage IVA:

    cancer is detected in the thyroid gland and has possibly spread to lymph nodes.

  2. Stage IVB:

    thyroid cancer has spread to other tissues outside the gland. It may be affecting the lymph nodes.

  3. Stage IVC:

    the disease has spread to different parts of the body, for example, the lungs and bones, and may have spread to the liver.

Papillary and Follicular Thyroid Cancer

the stages are further divided into substages based on the age of the patient. For patients having age less than 45:

  1. Stage I:

    cancer can be of any size, may be present in the gland or may have affected the nearby tissues and nodes. But it has not spread to other organs like lungs, bones, liver etc.

  2. Stage II:

    here also, the tumor can be of any size, but cancer has spread from the thyroid gland to different parts of the body, for example, the lungs or bone, and may have spread to lymph hubs.

For patients older than 45 years of age:

  1. Stage 1:

    In this stage, papillary and follicular thyroid cancer is discovered just in the thyroid and the tumor has a maximum size of 2 centimeters.

  2. Stage II:

    Papillary and Follicular thyroid cancer are only affecting the thyroid gland but the tumor size is between 2 cm and 4 cm.

  3. Stage III:

    this is a moderate level of thyroid cancer and any of the following can be found: the tumor is bigger than 4 centimeters and is present just in the gland or the tumor is of any size and disease has spread to tissues adjacent to the thyroid gland, yet not to lymph nodes. Another case is when the tumor is of any size and cancer may have spread to tissues next to the thyroid and has spread to lymph nodes close to the trachea or the larynx (voice box).

  4. Stage IV:

    This stage is further divided into four parts namely A, B, C and D. In IVA, any of these can be found: the tumor is of any size and cancer has spread outside the thyroid to tissues under the skin, the trachea, the throat, the larynx (voice box), or potentially the repetitive laryngeal nerve (a nerve with two branches that go to the larynx); cancer may have spread to adjacent lymph nodes. Another case is when the tumor is of any size and cancer may affect the tissues adjacent to the thyroid gland. In this stage, cancer has affected the lymph nodes or is present in the lungs.

  5. Stage IVB:

    the cancer is more aggressive and has spread to tissues before the spinal segment or has encompassed the blood vessels in the zone between the lungs. There is a possibility that cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes.

  6. Stage IVC:

    It is the most lethal stage of the papillary and follicular cancer. The tumor is of any size and cancer has spread to different parts of the body which may include the lungs and bones. It may have spread to lymph nodes.

    Medullary Thyroid Cancer

    Thyroid Cancer

  1. Stage 0:

    It can be only diagnosed with a unique screening test. There is no tumor present in the thyroid gland.

  2. StageI:

    Stage I Medullary thyroid cancer is discovered just in the thyroid gland and has a maximum size of 2 cm.

  3. Stage II:

    two cases can be observed at this stage. First one is when the tumor is bigger than 2 centimeters and is entirely present in the thyroid gland. The second case is when the tumor is of any size and has affected the tissues adjacent to the thyroid gland, but the lymph nodes are not yet affected.

  4. Stage III:

    at this stage, the tumor is of any size; cancer has affected the lymph nodes close to the trachea and the larynx (voice box) and may have reached to tissues present outside the thyroid gland.

  5. Stage IV:

    This stage is further divided into 4 parts namely A, B, C, and D. at the stage IVA, 2 cases are observed. First one is when the tumor is of any size; cancer has spread outside the thyroid gland to tissues under the skin, the trachea, the throat, the larynx (voice box), and additionally the intermittent laryngeal nerve. Also, it may have reached to lymph nodes adjacent to the larynx. The second case is associated with the tumor being of any size, cancer may have reached to tissues next to the thyroid gland. In the severe case, it has affected the lymph nodes.

  6. Stage IVB:

    the cancer is aggressive and has reached to the tissues before the spinal section or has encompassed the carotid artery or the veins in the region between the lungs. Furthermore, cancer may reach the lymph nodes.

  7. Stage IVC:

    the most lethal stage of medullary thyroid cancer. The tumor can be of any size and cancer has reached to different parts of the body which include lungs, bones, liver, lymph nodes, etc.

Conclusion

to treat a disease like thyroid cancer. It is important to identify the severity of the disease. This is done with the help of thyroid test and the results are used to determine the stage. Thyroid cancer stages from stage 1 to stage 4, depending on the type of cancer.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
READ  Thyroid: Difference between T3 and FT3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top