How serious is a thyroid tumor?

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It depends on a host of factors, such as the pathologic type of the thyroid tumor, the TNM stage and patient age. Generally, the prognosis for patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma is excellent, while prognosis for medullary carcinoma and undifferentiated carcinoma is poor.
Most thyroid cancers are very curable. In fact, the most common types of thyroid cancer (papillary and follicular thyroid cancer) are the most curable. In younger patients, less than 50 years of age, both papillary and follicular cancers have a more than 98% cure rate if treated appropriately. Both papillary and follicular thyroid cancers are typically treated with at least complete removal of the lobe of the thyroid gland that harbors cancer.

A thyroid gland that has a thyroid cancer nodule within it and has multiple other nodules in both sides of the thyroid or when cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the neck is a clear indication for complete removal of the thyroid gland.
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