What is Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid)

Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid) may be of the Anaplastic type and usually arise from the follicular cells located between the thyroid follicles, which are responsible for production of calcitonin.

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck, at the base. It acts as the body’s carburettor and accelerator determining how quickly we burn our fuel.Anaplastic of the Thyroid
It regulates body metabolism and energy. The follicular cells make the thyroid hormone responsible for the above, and C cells located between the thyroid follicles make calcitonin (which regulates calcium).

Statistics on Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid)

It is rare, accounting for only 10% of thyroid cancers and occurs with increasing age with sex incidence being more common in females (Three times more common).

Geographically, the tumour is found worldwide but is more common in caucasians. Higher incidences are also found in Japan, the Pacific Islands and Chernobyl as a result of nuclear exposure.

Risk Factors for Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid)

Exposure to radiation such as from previous radiotherapy treatment, radiation from nuclear weapons and multiple x-ray exposure increases the risk.

Iodine deficiency and long standing goitre(swelling of the thyroid gland) may be risk factors.

Progression of Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid)

This type of thyroid cancer tumour spreads by local spread into surrounding tissue such as the trachea and muscles of the neck. Lymphatic spread can occur to regional liver nodes, especially in the neck.

Blood-borne spread can disseminate this tumour to the bones, liver and lung.

How is Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid) Diagnosed?

General investigations into thyroid cancer may show features of disseminated disease such as anaemia or a raised alkaline phosphatase indicating bone metastases.

Prognosis of Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid)

  • This type of tumour has the worst prognosis of thyroid cancer.
  • Only 5%-10% of patients will survive 5 years.

How is Thyroid Cancer (Anaplastic of the Thyroid) Treated?

Thyroid cancer surgery offers the best chance of cure from this disease. Surgery for very early cases of thyroid cancer offers the best chance of cure but unfortunately early diagnosis of the thyroid cancer is rare.
External beam radiation either instead of, or after surgery may produce some benefit.
Improvement in thyroid cancer symptoms is an important measurement. Specific monitoring may be by measurement of the size of the lump in the neck or imaging of metastases.
The thyroid cancer symptoms that may require attention are stridor and local somatic pain from invasion of neck tissues.